Books vs E-Readers: A Showdown

Everybody has read a paperback book before. Technology wasn’t as cool when I was 5 and obsessed with books, (almost more obsessed than I am now) so I read paperbacks. But in the past 10 or so years, technology has evolved and e-books have become really popular.

So today, I’m comparing the two to see where they rank in my world. Do I prefer ebooks or paperbacks? I can’t answer this off the top of my head because there are so many factors. Let’s take a look and see what I come up with!


Paperback: New paperback books tend to fall anywhere between $4.50 and $14 where I live. You also have the option of getting them used from bookstores, libraries, and websites like I normally don’t pay more than $12 for a paperback, unless it’s something I really, really want to obtain for my collection. 

E-books: You might think ebooks are cheaper. But you’d be surprised! I have a Kindle, so I use the Amazon ebook store. I’ve seen indie and self published books for free or 99 cents. There are also a ton of books for 2.99, and daily specials. But when it comes to really popular books or new releases, you pay almost the same amount as a paperback. I’m talking $8-$13. 

The point goes to: Paperbacks

Note Taking: 

When I’m reading a book for review, I take notes. So which of these formats is easiest to take notes with? 
Paperback: If you don’t care about one day reselling your books, there are a few options for note taking with paperback books. You can use sticky notes, you can use tabs and a lined notebook, or you can use my method. Talking to the text. In high school, you learn annotation in the margins. I always wrote directly in my copies of the books. It stuck, and now that’s how I take notes for paperbacks.

E-books: Ebooks make it 10x easier to take notes. You select the text you want to make a note of, highlight it, and add a note. You can go to the journal section of the book, and view all of your notes and highlights at once. Even better? With the Kindle, you can see the most frequently highlighted phrases, from other people reading the same book, and use those for your reviews too! 

The point goes to: Ebooks

Battery Life

Paperbacks: They NEVER die! They have infinite battery life! 

Ebooks: The brooks themselves don’t die. But in order to read an ebook, you have to have an e-reader. It depends on the type of e-reader you have to determine your battery life. I have a Kindle Fire 5th Generation, which gives me 8 hours of mixed media use (games, books, music, audiobooks, etc) but I use it strictly for reading and have gotten about 13 hours out of it before charging. Not bad! My mom’s kindle on the other hand, can go over 25 days without needing to be charged.

The point goes to: Paperbacks


Paperbacks: Let’s face it. Even though paperback books are lighter than hardcovers, they’re still a pain in the butt to take with you on trips. You want to bring multiple options, but of course you only have room for 2 or 3, and then you’re sad because you can’t bring more. 

Ebooks: Ebooks are great for long trips and traveling. You can bring your solo e-reader, and have hundreds of options at your fingertips. The best part? They all weigh less than a pound. 

Point goes to: ebooks

The Smell

Paperbacks: Let’s be honest people. You’ve sniffed at least 1 book in your life but if you’re like me, you love the smell of books so much that if you can’t sniff your book, you get sad. If I could bottle the scent of an old book, I would wear it as perfume. 

Ebooks: They don’t smell. It’s sad. 

Point goes to: paperbacks.

The Conclusion

While there are lots of benefits for both, it seems that I definitely prefer paperbacks over Ebooks! While Ebooks are more portable and practical, nothing beats the comforting feeling (and smell) of a good old paperback book. 

What do you prefer? Let me know! 
Thanks for reading! 


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