I got a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas.
It’s small and light and comfortable to hold while reading. The ‘electronic ink’ on the page actually looks like real ink on a real page. The Kindle Paperwhite has a backlight you can turn on so you don’t need to keep a lamp on when reading at night. I can see what percentage of the book I’ve read. I can look up definitions of words I don’t know just by highlighting them.
So, I’m saying all this to say: I love my Kindle.
I resisted buying a Kindle for a long time. I thought e-readers were going to be the death of physical books, just like so many other things electronic and online versions had forced to become obsolete.
But I’ve read that the popularity of e-readers has actually declined, while physical books have remained steady and are actually increasing in popularity again! I think books are one thing that will stand the test of time. I mean, even if we do eventually completely switch to ebooks, there will always be a niche group of people (I will definitely be one of them) who will continue to buy physical books. Just like we have people today who still use record players and buy records.
But, anyway, Kindle and I, we’re friends. I have no problems with Kindle. In fact, as I said earlier, I love my Kindle. But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop buying physical books.
Because nothing can beat a physical book.
That new book smell. The way you can write your name in it. The way you can actually turn the pages.
The way that well read books get all tattered, and the spine breaks because you’ve opened it and closed it and folded it so much, and the pages get dog eared from you folding them over to hold your place –
Oh, just me, then? OK.
Don’t get me wrong, I like a book to be in pristine condition when I buy it. So I always take a book from the back of the pile in a bookstore. One that hasn’t been touched by many hands. But, I like the books I’ve read to look like they’ve been read. So I don’t take care when reading. Some people hate breaking the spines on their books; I aim to do it. If you were to take a look at my bookshelf you’d be able to easily tell which books I’ve read and which books I haven’t by the state of their spines. However, I am now trying to use all those free bookmarks I get from Foyles instead of dog-earing all the pages.
^^^ You can tell I’ve read all the ‘Gone’ series by Michael Grant and that I haven’t read ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series by Cassandra Clare. There are creases all through the ‘Gone’ book spines, whereas ‘The Mortal Instruments’ spines are pristine. They haven’t even been opened yet.
But, anyway, the thing about physical books I love the most?
The thing I would never be able to sacrifice, no matter how much more convenient ebooks are?
Particularly, beautiful book covers (ah, and the point of the blogpost has finally been reached).
I buy books not just because I like to read. I also do it to have my own collection of books. My own library. And, so, I care about not just what’s inside a book, but also what it physically looks like.I’ve said in previous posts that I’ve purchased books simply because they have beautiful covers and it’s true. I don’t necessarily judge a book by its cover but a beautiful cover will draw me in.
An e-reader cannot reproduce the beauty of a book cover. Even if the Kindle showed book covers in colour instead of black and white, looking at a picture of a book cover on a small electronic screen just cannot compare to a physical cover.
Because, you don’t just look at book covers, you also feel them.
They can be smooth and glossy.
They can be soft and buttery.
The font can be embossed so you feel the words.
They can be shiny or glittery.
They can be fabric or leather-bound.
Do book covers matter to you? What are your favourite book covers?