Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Book book or e-book?

The universe seems to be pretty undecided on this one! It's a debate that has raged on since the first e-readers were made available in the early 2000's and especially since the launch of Amazon's first Kindle, released in 2007.

I grew up surrounded by books. My whole family are readers and when I was younger I couldn't wait for my next trip with my Mum to Waterstones to spend my pocket money on the next Goosebumps book! Even now, as an adult, there is a certain aura when you walk into a book shop. A sense of adventure and wonderment and, of course, the smell! For me nothing beats the smell of a new (or old) book.

I will readily admit that I miss that smell, and the trips into the City to browse and choose my next adventure. Of course, the convenience of just clicking a button to add to your collection and having it delivered instantly is brilliant, but it's just not the same.

I have owned various tablets over the past few years and occasionally used them for reading but I finally dove in to the world of e-readers in 2014 when I was bought the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday. I loved it instantly and rarely put it down! It travels everywhere with me and contains around 300 books at the moment which, in physical terms, would fill my car boot and leave very little room for us!

I'm also quite spontaneous when it comes to what I read, so it's great to be chatting with a friend and be able to download the book they have recommended almost immediately. Also great if you suddenly decide you want to read Moby Dick during your extended stay in hospital and don't have to wait for someone to buy it for you! The ability to see which book comes next in a series is a great tool, as is being able to look up words with just a tap on the screen.

This debate will probably never be settled. E-books have been leading the sales over the last few years but it emerged recently that physical books are making a comeback and for the first time in four years sales grew in 2015. It has also been reported that the number of independent small book shops has risen, which is fantastic news!

Whatever platform you prefer, the story remains the same. I am an e-reader convert for the reasons shared by most; portability and convenience. I am truly a woman of the 21st century and embrace all things speedy like Netflix, Uber and Amazon Prime. It doesn't stop me dreaming of one day living in a Castle with a library of physical books to rival that of Beauty and the Beast!