It is the on-going battle amongst book readers, with avid fans in both teams. I find myself caught somewhere in the middle, not wanting to let go of the feel a physical book gives but simultaneously falling for the convenience a kindle offers. In a nutshell that is the dispute many people feel. So, how do you decide what works best for you?

I was a sworn booklover, refusing to turn in my hardcopies for an e-book but last winter that changed. Why? Travelling. When travelling often and for short stays, packing light is key. That goes for whatever is in your backpack as well. Carrying overflowing packed bags is so 2008. Minimizing your possessions is so 2020. Enter the Kindle. Its benefits may seem obvious, others you do not discover until you try it for yourself but traditional book readers may need some more convincing, and if it fits your needs it can make the perfect Christmas gift, whether travelling or not. Because let’s face it, 2020 is still so unpredictable.

Reasons to love kindles

  • You can store hundreds of books in one tiny device and read anywhere! This might be the biggest advantage a kindle offers, having a huge online library of books to choose from at any time. Download when you are connected to Wi-Fi and read wherever.
  • E-books are cheaper than physical books. What you’ll pay to purchase the tablet, you will save on buying lower-priced novels as online books come at a cheaper price from $1 to $15 or more. Plus, it gives you recommendations based on what you have read or the genres you favourite.
  • It is small, light and easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to carry around. Some kindles weigh just over 6 ounces and can fit in most bags so you can take it with you on the plane, the park, the beach or camping without taking up any space.
  • One of the best features on a kindle is that it comes with its own light which allows you to read even in the dark without needing a lamp or bothering anyone near you. Adjusting the brightness helps read more comfortably if you are reading during the day or the night without squinting or tiring your eyes. Even if you are reading outdoors, the screen is glare-free meaning that sunlight will not affect your reading.

  • Another aspect that helps have a comfortable reading experience is being able to choose the font size and the page layout, making the text as big or as small as you prefer.
  • When reading, you are introduced to the wonderful world of language. Sometimes that means coming across unknown words. With a kindle, instead of trying to search for the meaning, you simply tap on the word and a definition comes up. And if you find a phrase or a word you like, you can highlight the passage, the same as you would do in a physical book.

Why the book affair still remains

  • Lets face it, nothing replaces the feeling of holding a physical book, flicking through its pages and admit it is¦that smell of a brand-new book is irreplaceable.
  • You cannot write on a kindle and even though you can highlight, it is not easy to make notes or underline something that stood out. You would need a separate notebook to write your reflections from the book, making the process slightly less appealing.
  • Though with a kindle you can see an overview of the chapter and even the whole book, it is not so easy to flip through the book or save a page to go back to later. With a physical book, you can fold a page, stick a post-it note and make all kinds of additions to easily return to a specific section. And if you are anything like me, you like to flick through a book before buying, open to a random page to observe how its story makes you feel.

  • If a book has many visuals or graphics, it is not always easy to follow them on a kindle as you only get to look at one page at a time. This means that if a passage refers to a visual on the next of the previous page, kindle readers do not have the full image in one view and have to click back and forth. With a physical book, you can enjoy a double spread easily!
  • When you are done reading a book on your kindle, you cannot donate it or re-sell it. Unless you lend your device but you would not really want to do that, right? So books remain only within the tablet, there is no book exchange or sharing.

So, there you have it. For each person, the pros and cons of kindles come down to personal preference and what you value more. I am still fairly in the middle of the two teams. Sometimes the thrill of going to bookstores is pure bliss or borrowing a recommended book from a friend. Other times, when I want to order a book from abroad and do not want to wait for shipping or pay for delivery, then kindle is the way to go. It certainly was so during lockdown when many aspects of life were paused.

How about you? Are you team kindle or team book?