Pixels vs. Pages 

Is it better to read books on a tablet or physical book (paperback or hardcover)? It seems to be a somewhat common debate. Personally, I like to read my books both ways.

Growing up, I always used to read physical books growing up. My grandparents gave my an e-book reader (Kobo) for my 18th birthday. At first, I only used my Kobo when I travelled because it was so portable and allowed me to have several books on a trip with me. Nowadays, most of the books I read are on my tablet (I’ve since switched to an iPad because my Kobo got old and died) but I still love the feeling of flipping through a paper book.

I think that there are advantages to both, depending on what you are looking for.

Travelling… Winner: Tablet / e-reader

I am a fast reader, so it is much easier to have a tablet when travelling. If I am travelling for much more than 3 days, I’ll probably need a 2nd book, especially when I am going to be sitting on a plane for along time. This is actually why I first started reading books on tablets any how.

Pass it on… Winner: Physical book 

Sometimes I really want to give a book to someone else. Since the majority of my books are now electronic, I can’t really do that because I come by them legally so they’re protected by copyright stuff. I just have to settle for recommending books and telling people to check it out. I do buy the odd physical book still, so then I can pass that one on.

Novels… Winner: Paper + Tablet

Generally, if I buy a book myself I will get it on my tablet because it allows me to read it where ever, when ever. I might read it on vacation or while I am waiting in an office for an appointment and my tablet fits into the majority of my bags. But occasionally I find myself in a bookstore or perusing books online and buy myself a physical book, plus sometimes I am gifted a book / have a book passed onto me. Sharing books is one of my favourite parts of book reading so having a physical book is still an occasional must-do for me (see “pass it on” above this).

Textbooks… Winner: Physical book

Proper textbooks need to be a paper based book for me. I tried having one be electronic and it was harder for me to study how I like to study. I like to be able to skim quickly through my text books and mark them up with tags and such; this is not so easy on the tablet.

How-To or Self-Help Styled Books… Tie: Paper + Tablet

Books that I would include in this category are; Business Cards to Business Relationships, Nikon D5000; From Snapshots to Greatshots, and The Fangirl Life; A guide to all the feels and how to deal, which I plan to read soon. I find that, generally speaking, these books work just fine on a tablet and sometimes they even have special features, like videos, that can only be activated by, well, a tablet. But I like these books both ways.

Portability… Winner: Tablet

Tablets are soooooo easy to cart around. This is actually one of the major appeals of ebooks for me because it means I can just toss my tablet into my purse as I am heading out somewhere and if I have to wait for someone, I can just read a few pages of my book. It also probably means that people think I am way to attached to the internet/texting because they don’t know I am reading a book, but that’s ok.

Battery Power… Winner: Physical book

Physical books can’t crap out due to battery death. I find that if I am reading a fair but, my tablet can last for about 3 days, but if I start watching movies on it or surfing the internet a lot then it might die quicker. In any case, if I go camping or something where electrical outlets won’t be easily accessible, I’d definitely have to bring a physical book to eliminate the risk of being without a book.

Reading before bed… Winner: Tablet

In my pre-tablet days, I’d fall asleep with the lights on a lot because I’d be reading before bed and fall asleep mid-sentence. Now, I can just turn the lights off and read from the light on my tablet until I go to sleep. Some studies say that the light from TV’s and tablets can actually affect people’s sleep, but I don’t have a problem with sleeping enough so I am not worried about it personally.


As you can see, in my opinion, I feel like the choice between tablet and physical book is pretty evenly divided. At the end of the day, I still have a personal preference for e-books these days. Do you have a preference?

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