One question we are often asked on the Book Club Facebook page is: “Would you recommend getting a Kindle?” and so we thought we’d have a look at the pros and cons of both to hopefully answer all of your questions!
Books: Physical books take up space. There’s sadly no getting around this fact. They can weigh your bags down, chances are you won’t be able to take too many on holiday and a book-buying habit inevitably means you need bookshelves in your home.
E-reader: Space saving is a huge positive of an e-reader. You can have literally thousands of books on one 6” tablet. I don’t need to worry about running out of floorspace, and the file sizes of books are so small, I doubt I’ll ever run out of space on my Kindle! If I’m going on holiday, it means I can take a huge selection of books but I don’t need to worry about space or weight restrictions.
Books: Physical books, especially new releases and hardbacks, can be pricey, and it can be frustrating when a hardback book costs £20, and the paperback isn’t due to be released for months. Books don’t have to be expensive though – I absolutely love borrowing books from the library (our library also has books for sale for extremely low prices) and taking part in book swaps (like our Book Recycling scheme!). Browsing charity shops is also an amazing way to find cheap books – you can find some incredible bargains and even stumble upon rare books by hunting around.
E-reader: The e-reader itself obviously has quite a high initial investment cost, although I personally think they are fairly priced. Ebooks themselves however, are often much cheaper than the physical books. The Kindle store often has sales, and many books are available for as little as 99p. You also don’t have to pay (or wait!) for delivery. There are also subscription options like Kindle Unlimited where you can read a huge selection of e-books for free.
Books: I mean, for me there is no contest. Books are beautiful, and I love being able to display all of my books on my bookshelves. I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but let’s be honest, from time to time we’re all drawn to books with gorgeous covers! There are also books that feature illustrations that just can’t be replicated on an e-reader.
E-reader: You’ll still be able to see the book covers on an e-reader, though unless you have a tablet style e-reader like the Kindle Fire, it will be in black and white. E-readers tend to be small (usually around 6″, very lightweight and slim – I think they look quite smart. You can also buy sleeves and cases for e-readers, and there are some beautiful cases where you can slot your Kindle in and open it up like a book. There’s also the added anonymity you have with an e-reader, no-one can see what you’re reading!
Convenience & Reliability
Books: Books aren’t always convenient for day-to-day use due to limitations of bag size, weight restrictions etc. However, they are much more reliable. Obviously you want to take good care of your books, but they won’t break if they’re dropped, they can’t run out of battery and they don’t need updating or upgrading.
E-reader: From a convenience perspective, I think e-readers have the upper hand. Books you purchase are in your hands within seconds and the size and weight of an e-reader is amazing. Reliability however, can be a different matter. The battery on my Kindle is excellent, it lasts a few weeks and doesn’t take too long to charge, but I’ve found that sometimes on holiday it can overheat and it tells me the battery needs recharging. My Kindle is a few years old now and can sometimes run a little slow, and if I want to turn back to an earlier page to check something it can be a bit of a pain. But, the fact that my Kindle is now several years old and still working absolutely fine is amazing. My Kindle isn’t waterproof, but some of the more recent e-reader releases are which is amazing – I’m always anxious if I’m reading my Kindle in the bath!
There are different types of e-readers, so we’ve put together a helpful comparison chart so you can see which e-reader is right for you!