Kindle vs Printed word

19 Jan

There has been talk of ebooks in our office lately. I started a poll on Twitter today to get some reasons why or why not to use either Kindle or traditional book format.

So, my friends, here are my comparisons between Kindle (or any book on a digital format) and traditional books, the advantages and disadvantages of each:


  • E-books are great for travel. They a light weight, compact, and easy to carry. You can take several books with you to the beach with no fuss at all. And unlike laptop or cell phone screens, the display screen on a Kindle reduces glare and can be easily read in strong sunlight. However, when the plane takes off and lands, flight attendants will ask you to turn it off.
  • A kindle doesn’t smell as good as a crisp new book!
  • You can’t Kindle a fire
  • You can’t hide a gun in an ebook
  • If you drop your book in the bath tub, down a flight of stairs, or into a vat of boiling molasses, you lose one book. If you do the same with a Kindle, don’t worry – your library is backed up on Amazon!
  • You can’t use a stack of Kindle ebooks to hold up a corner of the sofa if one of the legs has broken off.
  • Regular books do not include a dictionary or keyboard.
  • You can’t cut a hole in an old ebook to hide your stash.
  • Hitting someone in the head with a Kindle does not pack the same wallop as it does if you bop them with a good old fashioned hard back book.
  • You can’t slip some papers into a Kindle for ease of carrying.
  • The battery on your traditional book will not crap out just as the hero is dangling off the cliff and you have to send it off somewhere for repair or buy a new battery online before you find out what happens.
  • You can’t use a pile of Kindles to smooth down papers. Well, you could but that would entail purchasing quite a lot of them.
  • If you become lost in the wilderness with your Kindle, you can’t use it as kindling for a fire on a cold night. (But, if you also have a GPS, you can find your way back to civilization)
  • With a Kindle, you can’t switch book jackets to make it look like you are reading something significant and so impress strangers at the dentist’s office or on the bus.
  • Radical political groups can burn a pile of Kindles with the same affect as burning a pile of real books.
  • You can’t collect old or rare Kindles.
  • You can’t press flowers with a Kindle.
  • Kindles do not lend themselves to secretive or clandestine exchanges which could harm espionage.
  • On the plus side for Kindle – you can lay on your side when reading a Kindle. Try that with a traditional book!

And there is, of course, the ultimate question – how cozy is it to curl up with a Kindle and a cup of tea on a chilly night? In that case, I guess it depends on what you are reading.

We will see how this list changes as I collect responses to my poll. We shall see!

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