Real Books vs. E-books – Minute Book Report

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First of all, I know that you may not even
care about books or reading, but you should recognize that there are people out there
in this world that do. I’m one of them. And so maybe this discussion about books vs
e-books may not relate to you, but if you look at this discussion on a much more bigger
scale, it’s more about the tangible vs digital. And so this discussion can be applied to DVDs
vs digital downloads or CDs vs MP3s. But I’m going to talk about this in the
context of books because that’s what this channel is about and I like to read. Reading
is important and it’s important to me, which is why I have dozens and dozens of books.
That’s one of the reasons I majored in English and went on to graduate school to learn more
about writing and literature. So like most English majors, I was a “purist”
and thought that books are the way to go. I was under the impression that e-books were
just a fad and that they robbed me of my experience as a reader, making it less enjoyable and
fulfilling without the pages in my fingers. I thought this way for a long time during
college. When Amazon announced their Kindle, I thought, “That’s nice, but I don’t
want to spend money on a fancy e-reader when I could, technically, borrow books from the
library for free and feel the pages in my hands.” And so over the years, I collected
books and built up a nice library. Maybe I was doing it because I liked to collect things,
but also maybe to impress my friends. But then I started to move around. I moved
across the country and then back again and then back again. It’s already stressful
enough to have to move my clothes and other things, but to move books is so tiresome.
Fortunately, the local post office was just down the street, but I still had to pack and
carry those boxes to the counter. By the way, pro tip on moving and shipping
books: Call your local Barnes and Noble and ask if you can use some of their cardboard
boxes. Those things are made to ship books and are pretty tough. And
the thing is, after moving my books three
times across the country, I came to the realization that I don’t have any room for them here.
My bookshelf is not big enough and I’ve had to give some of my precious books away. So now that I’ve grown up, in a way, I see
that books – the things that I loved so much because of their tangibleness – are taking
up precious space that I just don’t have. That’s when I bought a Kindle. And, oh,
how it’s changed my life. This isn’t an advertisement for Amazon and how great their
product is – although if Amazon wanted to sponsor me with a lifetime supply of books,
that would be nice – but it is a commentary on how much easier reading has become with
an e-reader. I’m able to hold a library of books, literally
hundreds of books, in my hands and nothing has changed. I’m still a reader. I still
sit at the coffee shop and look intensely at what I’m reading while nodding my head
and sipping my coffee to let everyone know I’m deep in thought. E-books are just a
different way of experiencing what I already enjoy. Now I know what all of the reading “purists”
are saying. “I just like holding the book in my hand. I need to feel the pages.” And
I’m totally there. I get it. I like that too, but once you experience the convenience
of being able to download any book at home instead of going to the store or waiting for
it to arrive, and more importantly, once you see e-books as a way to experience reading
through a different means, it’s hard to not want to read e-books. And I think that as the world becomes more
digital, there will always be those people who want to possess the media – whether it
be a book, video game disc, DVD, etc. And that’s fine. As humans, we like to collect
things. But I’m slowly learning that as I’m growing up and making it on my own and
there are certain technologies to make things more convenient, owning the digital data is
becoming okay. I’m okay with paying $10 for a book that I’ll never touch. But at
the same time, I’ll never have to find room for it in my already limited space either. So, let me know what you think about books
vs e-books, or about tangible media vs digital media. Hope you subscribe to Minute Book Reports
and thanks for watching.

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