8 Fabulous Things About Books that E-readers Lack

Books with RoseLet me begin with a disclaimer—I am not anti-Kindle.

I admit freely to having read several e-books on my iPhone. Indeed, I understand the appeal of e-books. They can be purchased and downloaded instantly. They take up zero physical space and therefore save many a book-lovers’ home from becoming cluttered. And sometimes, they are even less expensive.

No, I’m not here to bash high-tech users of e-readers. Rather, I am, in a fashion, one of them. I consider myself a hybrid reader, dabbling in books and e-books alike.

However, I will never give up my bookshelves, bookends, or bookmarks. I will never completely forsake physical, real, honest-to-goodness, hold-in-your-hands books.

For books, with their pages and ink, will always be my first love. And nothing shall ever convince me that e-books are superior to their paper counterparts. E-books are all well and good and have their place. Yet it must be admitted, by even the most modern tech-savvy of persons, that there are some things they lack.

8 Fabulous Things About Books that E-readers Lack

1. Tactile QualityStack of Books

To read an e-book, one must hold a machine. Whether it’s a Nook or smart phone, the sense of touch is engaged only by a cold electronic device. You don’t truly hold the e-book, feel its weight. It’s a one dimensional object partitioned off by a screen. In this one dimensional reading experience, you lose the variety of tactile qualities books offer. Rich leather, soft cloth, or slick paperback binding. Braille-like embossed lettering. The thin, smooth pages of a new book. The thick, textured parchment of an antique. By engaging our sense of touch, books connect directly with the reader in a manner e-books simply cannot replicate.

2. Aroma

Unless you’re a true bibliophile, this item on my list will most assuredly leave you perplexed and thinking I’m insane. Yet, for those of us with ink printed on our hearts, the scent of a book is nothing short of magical. New books have an aroma which combines fresh cut paper and hot-off-the-press ink. While vintage and antique books have this scent which seems beyond description. Musty? Leathery? Fairy dusty? Whatever it may be, aroma takes ones reading experience beyond the second star to the right.  Continue reading