Friday, February 5, 2016

E-Books vs. Physical Books - Part 4

I hope this is the last post I write on this subject since I'm starting to sound like a broken record. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

The bottom line is that our brains function differently when we read physical books than when we are reading on a screen. We concentrate better and remember more of what we read when using physical books.

The source of many of the articles I've read on this subject has been Canadian pastor Tim Challies. So you can imagine my surprise when he recently declared he was going "all in" with digital books.

I agree with many of his reasons for preferring digital books (convenience, less clutter, etc.), but can't believe he's ignoring the negatives that he himself has pointed out to his readers. I say, let's keep a balance.

I'm glad Edie at Life In Grace wrote this post about the importance of physical books. I had heard the argument about having books around so that your children will be able to see what influences you (see Our Bare Shelves, Our Selves). But Edie's argument about book time being the perfect antidote to screen overdose is excellent.

What do you think? Am I a lone voice crying in the wilderness?


Grace said...

No you are not! I also cringed when I read how Challies was going to do away with his physical library. Okay there are certainly books that are fine to have on e-books. He receives tons of books to read and review so, yes, let those go. Even I love that I can have all sorts of references and books on my kindle and not on my shelves. But there are many books that I want to touch, re-read and yes, lug around with me. I did a reverse recently after reading The Shallows by Nicholas Carr. Usually I restrict how many books I buy and let my daughter buy to take with us back overseas. This time I didn't. Having physical books around is my brave stand against a digital and screen-addicted age. A stand against flitting here and there from source to source. A stand against words that can be lost in a moment. I hate clutter and don't want to hang on to books that I don't care about. But every book I keep represents either a promise for future growth or a reminder of a remarkable encounter. I don't get that same feeling when I look at my kindle cover. As I look up from my computer I see books that call me to read them. I can clearly detect the individual contents that draw me to pick them up. I love my kindle but it doesn't do the same thing. So keep revisiting this as we all need to keep thinking about what we give up when physical books lose their prominent place in our culture.

Vintage Reading said...

No you are not. Best thing about a physical book is that they don't need a power source!

Beth said...

I came across Challies announcement not too long after he posted and I had to laugh because almost a week earlier Michael Hyatt announced he was putting ebooks away for the year ( Such different outlooks!

I personally love books, and my house is a testimony to that. Even though I do read some ebooks I just have found reading a physical book is way more fulfilling!

hopeinbrazil said...

Beth, Thanks for the link to Michael Hyatt's post. I loved it!