The Impact of Digital

Posted January 18, 2017 / Discussions, Features / 19 Comments


This post is one of three in the Impact of Book Format series I’m starting on the blog. You’ll see how I feel about ebooks, physical books, and audiobooks over the course of three Wednesdays.

Getting a Kindle was one of the BEST things for me, back before college started. I was so excited for it. I got one of the early ones that had 3G on it, because I knew I’d need it when I visited my grandparents in Maine (who didn’t have wifi at the time). I used to vacation there twice each summer and a few other times each year, and I was always concerned with running out of books. This Kindle was my savior, to immediately order new ones if needed. I primarily use it now for egalleys and a few ebooks, but not as much as I used to. Today’s topic is the impact of reading digital/Kindle books, compared to other means of reading.


It makes me read faster

I really don’t know what it is about reading on a Kindle, but I finish books so much faster! Am I the only one who experiences this?! I don’t know. I just sit there and click-click-click onto the next page so much faster. Maybe the act of turning physical pages slows you down? I honestly am not sure what else to say about this because I can’t think of a legitimate reason for why this is true. I just notice that reading books on my Kindle happens much faster than regular books.

Bookmarking quotes

I don’t do this as much as I used to, but I love having the option to highlight quotes to reference later. I would never highlight in a physical book because UGH. I might use a page flag (temporarily, until I can write it down) but it’s a pain in the ass to carry those around all the time. I like being able to just bookmark a passage or favorite quote, without damaging a book or needing an extra accessory to do so.

Having countless books in one place = lifechanging

Realistically, we could all just take our e-readers on vacation with us and probably not need to pack any physical books. (I don’t do this – I always need at least a few physical options too!) I have soooo many books on there, I could be set for over a year if I ONLY read those. I love knowing I can immediately start something else if I don’t have another book with me. It’s so easy and amazing to have so many to choose from AND having the ability to buy more, right away, if needed. I sometimes start books I usually wouldn’t start either. If I finish a book earlier than expected and still have more lunch break time, I might start my next book right from my Kindle. These spur-of-the-moment book choices can be really great sometimes. I’ll read something unplanned and cross it off the TBR, even though I wasn’t planning on it.

Saving my limited shelf space

Living in a one bedroom apartment full of books and Lego doesn’t really lend itself to a clutter-free life. Chris and I have SO much S T U F F just sitting around everywhere. I’m trying to do a better job of curating my library with the books I really care about instead of random ones. I should only keep favorites, possible rereads, and favorite authors… at least for now. I used to be into the idea of physical ARCs but honestly? Gimme the egalleys instead. I would rather free up my shelf space.


Physical book pages <3

There is nothing better than the feel and smell of a regular ol’ book. Most bookworms agree it can be an indescribable feeling to just HAVE a book. Look at it. Read from it. That’s why I could never get rid of my real books and/or rely on my Kindle exclusively. I always alternate my reading so I’m either doing multiple types simultaneously (Kindle, ebook, and audiobook at once) or mixing it up in between. I’ll always mix in regular books in between Kindle books.

I’m book-cover-obsessed

You know how much I love pretty book covers. I don’t want to own just ebooks because I NEED to see the covers on my shelves. I don’t get into bookstagram for a lot of reasons, but I hopefully will get more into picture-taking someday. I want to stare at the cute covers! It doesn’t look good when you try to use a Kindle or iPad screen to show a cover in an Instagram picture. It doesn’t work.

Not always the cheaper option

The thing that bugs me the most about ebooks in general is that they’re not always cheaper than the physical copy. If I’m buying a digital book that doesn’t even appear in person at my doorstep, why do I need to spend $10 on it?! I am HAPPY to support authors and their work, but I want the real damn thing if I’m spending anything more than $4.99 on the book. Even that is pushing it; I prefer to buy ebooks only on sale (less than $3). I just think a digital copy that costs nothing in terms of literal manufacturing should always be cheaper than the real deal.

Overall, I love ebooks for being able to read egalleys without taking up shelf space. Reading books at a faster speed for some reason. Saving money (usually). Having unlimited books at my disposal. The list obviously goes on and on, but nothing will ever replace REAL books for me. Thank you, Kindle, for being a trusty sidekick… but you’ll never be my only option.

19 responses to “The Impact of Digital

  1. I love this post! I did a post a few months back on why I love paper books. I can definitely see all the perks of e-books, but I can’t seem to take that plunge and get an e-reader! I love being able to share physical books with my family and friends.

  2. I totally agree with you on the pricing of ebooks! Unless it’s a new release that I need to start IMMEDIATELY, I usually only buy books if they’re on sale. And I read faster on kindle too! It’s so weird how that happens!

  3. While in general I love physical books the most, I love having a Kindle (and the Kindle app)! It’s just so convenient to have all of these books at my fingertips, both the ones I read for review and the ones I buy myself. Plus, I loooove when Kindle books go on sale – which is when I prefer to buy them.

  4. Rowena

    Great post, Lauren. I agree with all of it. Every single thing. Space was a huge factor in why I didn’t keep my print library and while I miss it, I still don’t have the space for one but hopefully, that will change. I adore my eBook library though. And YESSSSSS!!! I don’t understand why eBooks aren’t always the cheaper option.

  5. YES as you know I am OBSESSED with my new Kindle. I use it mostly for Overdrive, since it’s so much smaller and more convenient to read on than my iPad. Like you, I usually won’t buy e-books unless they’re a good price, because I’d rather have the real thing for 10+ dollars. However I DID buy a kindle copy of ACOMAF a few weeks ago on sale for $3.99 so I could always have a copy at my fingertips since you know how obsessed I am with it, lol

  6. SOOooooo TRUE! I also started with one of the early 3G versions of Kindle because I knew I was going to study abroad, and there was NO WAY I’d be able to pack enough physical books to last me for 4 months. And I found that I really DO read faster on the kindle as well — for me it’s because I increase the font size so that my eyes don’t feel strained after a couple of hours (it does NOT take much to strain my eyes). It’s also great when you’re reading around a small child who likes to try to eat everything. If she noms on my kindle, she’s not likely to do much damage (to herself or the kindle). If she noms on a book, a piece of my soul might die inside 😛

  7. I’m loving this series so far, Lauren! Okay, so confession: I’m one of the very few weird bookish people who prefers reading on my Kindle to reading physical books (for many of the reasons you mentioned!). I also find that I read SO much faster on my e-reader. Also, I travel a lot, so I pretty much only bring my Kindle with me on trips. Really, I bring my Kindle everywhere with me– to class, to appointments, on public transit, to family gatherings. Plus, I, like you, live in a tiny apartment with limited shelf space, so a Kindle is honestly the most sensible option for me. I only buy physical copies of books that I’m *super* invested in, or if I know I’ll be able to get them signed by the author. I also love that reading ebooks reduces my carbon footprint at least a small amount. Great post, lovely! 🙂

    • Yes, I totally understand this logic!! I also completely agree. I’m becoming more Kindle-oriented lately, unless it’s an ARC I have/borrowed or a library book. I’ve cut down a lot of my physical bookshelves. I do also love reading my Kindle because it’s SO much easier to hold. No shame in that game.

  8. Ugh, yes, I don’t understand why sometimes ebooks cost more than paperbacks??? That makes no sense. But I actually prefer ebooks for reading, and most of the time they are cheaper. I like physical books to touch and look at, but ebooks are just easier for me to read. I’m one of those people who is quote obsessed, so that’s one of the best things for me. I also like to read in bed with all the lights out, and that’s a lot easier to do with a kindle. It’s also easier to hold and change pages. And I can make the background black with the font white, which makes it easier on my eyes. Plus I love being able to have all my books with me wherever I go. Even if I don’t have my kindle, I have the app on my phone!

  9. Oooh, I like this series! Really great breakdown of pros and cons, and honestly, you took the words right out of my mouth with most of these!

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