Reading Paper Books

Recently the university where I work had their annual library book sale, and, as always, I found myself unable to stop from buying a couple.  One of them is a paperback copy of John Steakley’s Armor. 

It’s a classic (originally published in 1984) and I’m finding myself being sucked into the story just as I was when I first read it thirty years ago.

It is interesting, though, how different I am finding the experience of reading a paper printed book after doing the overwhelming majority of my reading on a Kindle screen.  It’s kind of awkward to hold, thicker than my Kindle, and it takes two hands to hold the book and turn the page.

The pages are not self-illuminated, so when I woke up in the middle of the night last night I had to turn on a light in my office to read it.  And, of course, a paper book won’t read the text to you.

I am enjoying the book, but I do think from time to time, “I want to see if this is on Kindle” and “I wonder if there is an audiobook?” My awareness of the media isn’t too intrusive to keep me from losing myself in the text, but it is there.

This is interesting because I haven’t been a Kindle reader for that long, really, just five or six years, and I was an avid reader of paper books for the prior four decades or so.  My reading reflexes, however, have changed to the point where reading a paperback book now takes some adjustment.

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About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MPNBNS
This entry was posted in Artists That I Admire, On Publishing, On Writing, Who I am and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Reading Paper Books

  1. sknicholls says:

    I agree. My husband read on a sony for years and I swore I would never be a convert…until my eyes started going bad and I needed larger font than most books are printed in. Ah, technology. Now, if I could just get used to this windows 10.

  2. kingmidget says:

    I have a Kindle and read some books on it, but I would say “real” books are still the medium in which I do most of my reading. Yes, there are things about an e-book that make it easier to read, but I still enjoy a real book.

  3. Up until I discovered ebooks back in 2011, I had pretty much gotten away from reading altogether. Then I discovered ebooks. Now, here in 2015, I have a busy book review blog — The Leisure Zone — I have a kindle, and I’m always reading something. I’m back to my old voracious reading habits. The think I love about reading ebooks on my kindle is that I can adjust the type size and font to suit me. Also, in something less than the size of a physical book, I can have several books, access to tons more, and can even go shopping for books on Amazon. I LOVE ebooks.

  4. paws4puzzles says:

    Now that’s funny, because my experience is almost the opposite. Although I read about 50% of my books on my tablet I still much prefer reading a paperback. I like to be able to flick ahead easily to see when the end of the chapter is. I like to be able to read anywhere and not worry that my book is going to run out of charge. I truly can’t imagine a world where I would only read electronically. I love my tablet (and wow it’s great to be able to carry a library around with me, especially when I was traveling), but still I find a enjoy a book more when it’s a paperback.

  5. I’m definitely still in the paperback camp. I think that’s largely in part because I don’t have an ebook reader. I borrowed my mother’s Kobo for a bit, but she had basically no books on it so there wasn’t much to read. And then of course I have my tablet, but that’s basically staring at a computer screen (albeit a small one). I suspect I might get more into ebooks if I bought an actual Kindle or something, but at the moment, paperback all the way!

  6. I’m feeling old since you referred to a 1984 book as a classic….

  7. I find that I read about 50% off my Kindle and 50% paperback. When I read with my four-year-old son we always read paperback as he has to read chapter books now. Good kid. I don’t think I really have a preference either way. If I find myself in a bookstore and fancy a book, I buy it. If I’m not interested in the reading material I have waiting for me around the house, I look up the online bookstore and download one that I want.
    I guess for me it depends on whethere I’ve been in a bookstore recently.

  8. H.P. says:

    I largely ignored my first Kindle until I had to move several hundred books…

    The appeal has never been about the actual reading. I prefer to read physical books. The lag in turning the page, and the inability to easily flip around, detract from the Kindle reading experience. But the Kindle saves on storage space, makes moving much easier, allows me to get a book instantly, and better survives the sun, water, and being knocked around.

    (The ability to read in the dark is nice, but I usually read with the light on anyway.)

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