My sister recently recommended a book – A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornavat. As soon as she told me about it, I borrowed the ebook from my library so I could start reading it when I finished the novel I was then reading. But she also kindly sent me a print copy of the book. So as I went to read it, I had a decision to make – do I read it in print or on my ereader?
First I picked up the print edition. At 375 pages, it is substantial though not heavy. I flipped through it briefly. I then opened the book on my ereader and compared the first page in print to that of the ebook. The font was slightly different but largely felt the same. It was at this point that I found myself pulled rather emphatically to the ebook. And that’s where I am reading it. But I am also grateful to have the print edition.
I wondered why this might be. One of my favorite things about reading ebooks is how simple it is to look up word definitions. I definitely miss this when reading in print. I read more that one book at a time so having them easily portable on an ereader is also a big plus. But I still buy print editions of books that really resonate with me because I want to have a physical artifact that I can refer back to and readily see. For non-fiction, I also often transfer any highlights or notes to my physical book as they are easier to reference and share.
This brief experience helped me learn about myself. I prefer ebooks when I am actually reading. But for books that I love, I still need a print book on my shelf for reference, longevity, and to share. I still want and love them both.