Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Electronic or Real Books?







Just one of the bookcases I have radically decluttered.

I have been enjoying looking at other Bloggers bookcases, seeing what sort of books they read, getting ideas of the books I would like to read, admiring their bookcases.  Seeing what they are interested in by the books they read, their hobbies, the type of food they like, whether they are gardeners, the list goes on.  You can tell a lot by what people read.  For me a home without books is unthinkable, and I am pleased that my sons still have homes full of books.  My parents were not readers when I was growing up.  We had the usual encyclopaedias, and a few Readers Digest Books on the law, first aid etc. but no fiction.  My mum was always busy, working, dressmaking, knitting and didn't start reading books until later in life when she discovered the likes of Catherine Cookson.  I, on the other hand, always had my nose stuck in a book.  I LOVED books!  One of my fondest memories of school was in the last year of junior school.  There was a locked glass bookcase that contained 'the classics'  I think I was the only one who was interested in reading them, and worked my way through them.  It took me to other worlds and times.




I have boxes full of books in the attic that I can't bear to give away, but I have managed to sell or give away several hundred.  I now find myself with a dilemma.  I am trying to declutter, if we are going to move house I need to sort through our possessions now, not just box them up and move them to another house.  I have boxes in the attic that were taken out of the attic of our old house.  It is ridiculous, I don't even know what is in them.  I know one box is full of my University books that I will never need or use again.  Can I justify buying more and more books to fill up the bookshelves that then overflow to every available space in the house and eventually to the attic?




The other thing I feel guilty about is the trees that are being cut down to feed my addiction.  Do I continue to buy books knowing that it isn't really a very 'green' thing to do?




The bearded one has been 'suggesting' for ages that I stop buying books and start reading books on his old iPad he gave to me.  I have resisted until now.  I have been looking at books about de-cluttering and being more organised, (yes it has come to this).  It seems a bit ridiculous to buy a book on decluttering by adding to the clutter so I downloaded an app. to read it on the iPad.  My verdict?  It is early days but I just can't get on with it, I don't feel like I'm reading.  I'm not enjoying the experience at all.  Why?  I have been trying to think what it is about it that I don't like.  Why is it so different from reading a book?  So I have been thinking about how I read books.  I read fiction and non fiction in different ways.  Fiction, start at the beginning and read through, they are well looked after, placed on the bookshelf and cherished.   Non fiction I flick through, look at different chapters, often go back and re-read things to get a better understanding.  Bookmark things, underline (I can hear you all take a sharp intake of breath, it is a habit from my Uni days, and is only pencil).  Shove it in my bag to read when I get a spare minute.  I 'use' them and make them 'work' for me.  With this electronic book I can't do this as easily.  I can't find that particular paragraph that I want to re read, I can't flick through and underline important points.  I don't shove the iPad in my bag for fear of it going missing, it's not as easy to carry, doesn't fit in my handbag.   I don't have a book in my hand, the feel of it, the smell of it, seeing the cover every time I pick it up.  It just isn't such a pleasurable experience.  The one good point I have found is that I can read it in bed without having the light on when the bearded one is sleeping.

So are you a real book or an electronic (is this even how you describe it) reader?  Can you persuade me or give me tips on how to make the experience more enjoyable?

Chickpea xx

Welcome to Marilyn :)

41 comments:

  1. I will wade in here. I love books. I was really anti electronic books. But holidays were becoming a problem needing 14 books in the luggage. I tried reading books on the tablet/ipad. And I couldnt get on with it, plus there was the lure of blog reading on it.

    My friend gave me her kindle loaded with books I like and I took it away to Greece. I came back and immediately bought a kindle. I read both fiction and none fiction. if you change books and flick back it opens on the page you were last reading. it is easy to book mark and there isnt that glare I felt I got from the Ipad. And the battery lasts for AGES.

    I still read real printed books as I like the feel of them, my friends and family give them to me. But I cant go back from the kindle now. Its so much easier and lighter than carrying heavy text books to college.

    Borrow a kindle and see what you think.

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    1. I didn't realise there would be such a difference between a kindle and an iPad Thanks for wading in :)

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  2. I'm a book lover too... we don't have much room at all for ours - Dave's are all in boxes in a spare room and I don't have enough shelves for mine, we live with my parents but dream of owning a house with a large library! It has to be real books for us - I don't own an e-reader of any sort and I have no desire to.

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  3. I am a book lover and cant bear to part wit books, I also have a kindle, I love my kindle for reading fiction, most of are downloaded for free, non fiction books I like to flick through, rather than read front to back. The kindle is great I can highlight sections, bookmark pages, keep notes on it. I cant read a book on an ipad or a computer, the kindle is different its more like a book. :-)

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    1. I need to try a kindle to see if I get on with that better

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  4. I'm a book lover too! Real books though not electronic ones, I've tried on the kindle & ipad but it just doesn't feel right. Also there is no smell when reading a book electronically, people think I'm mad but I do think proper books have a smell x

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    1. Haha yes I like the smell of books, but not used books that smell of cigs!

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  5. Hey Chickpea,
    My Mum bought me a Kindle for Xmas, and I was reluctant at first. There are the obvious reasons; the weight and feel of a book in my hand. The smell of a book. The picking up and taking down old favourites from a shelf. The act of browsing for a book in a shop. Then there are the rituals associated with reading. It is my was to relax and take time out. It helps my insomnia. I always read before I go to sleep. I found it hard to settle with my Kindle. I had to lie differently in bed!
    But I am used to it now, and use it in conjunction with 'proper' books. It's not the same. Of course it isn't. But I feel a little easier about all those trees. So I now buy new, second hand and e-reads.
    Leanne xx

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    1. As a fellow insomniac I was wondering if the glow from the iPad would be a problem before going to sleep. Will have to see

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  6. After all my book shelf pics you know what I'm going to say! And because I rarely buy new I'm not worried about the tree thing.And I'm helping to keep the mobile library going.
    I downloaded a free kindle app onto my lap top but have only ever read one book on it and it just didn't seem real

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    1. Haha, now how did I guess you would say that :)

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  7. Books books books, I get most of mine at charity shops and then give them back once I have read them. I have thinned my craft books, as my taste have changed in the last few years. I understand your comments about tree's, but I can not read from my iPad, it feels wrong, my eye's ache, I just have to have a book in my hand. But do what suits you, just promise you will still have your book case.

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  8. Real books every time, my fiction comes mainly from charity shops and then returned when I have read them, I only hang on to my favourite author's as I will re-read them. Reference books stay and I always have people wanting to read them so it's kind of a reference library thing for friends!. When we move house the first thing that gets unpacked is my books, it's not home until I can see them .

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    1. I agree, it's not a home until you have your books around you!

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  9. I love my books ! I reread my favorites, they feel like old friends.
    Walking In a book store, the book art calling up to you... here here pick me up pick me up.
    The feel of the book in your hands.
    Just like my art. I love the feel of the ink or paint on the paper. Where my Daughter does fabulous art on her computer.
    But I understand the tree thing too.
    I tried to hold the Kindle did not like the feel but I guess I should try it again.
    We have some of the same authors. woohoo !

    cheers, parsnip

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  10. I love real books, the feel, the smell everything about them. But I too have far too many books, so now if I buy novels I buy them on the kindle app for the ipad and I buy reference books and recipe books in a hard copy. Seems to work for me xxxx

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    1. Yes, definetly reference and recipes in hard back.

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  11. Like you I am still on the fence about e readers. My brother in Oz swears by his kindle but he is not a bookworm. I am surrounded by books, some I buy, some I get from the library. I do buy new books but these are mostly craft, the fiction comes from anywhere that I can find it. I just bought a stack of books from Amazon, if you spend £10 delivery is free. Two of them were brand new and both were hardback. I thin k that eventually space will drive me to trying a kindle, but I do not relish the thought.

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    1. It is the space thing that is the problem!

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  12. I guess I think there is room for both. Just like with my bread making, occasionally I don't feel up to kneading it by hand, so I use the bread hook on my big mixer! BUT most if the time I love to make it by hand and it feels more natural and 'right with the world'. I much prefer real books and who couldn't love a full bookshelf?? But kindles or iPads have their place for convenience. I used my kindle app on my iPad last summer because I couldn't pack 10 books - it was OK but ran out of battery and overheated a few times which was frustrating! Conclusion? Keep the books you have, but next time you go to buy a new one, ask yourself if you could bear to have it as an e-book first?

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    1. Yes, I think I will try a fiction book before I give up on it completely.

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  13. I read both kinds but only fiction on my Kindle and only sometimes. It is good when travelling and on the move. But I still love a real book and have way too many. Everytime I think I'll have a good clear out I never get very far because I can't bear to part with them.

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    1. The kindle seems to be popular, I may have to give it a try.

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  14. Interesting.... I like both. The best thing about a kindle is that it's handy and easy to read on a packed tube! I also quite like reading it in bed without the light on so it doesn't disturb my partner if he's asleep. xx

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    1. I am finding that reading in bed without the light on in a huge plus, I don't have to worry about tubes in Cornwall :)

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  15. Real books every time. There is always, always room for books. Can't remember the last time I bought a new book, I like second hand books especially the ones that like old piano's. So recycling.
    Please do not get started on the big declutter or the folding of clothes saga's, they seem to have become an obsession in blogland. If you can't otherwise fill your day, don't waste it, enjoy it and read a book!

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    1. That should read; smell like old piano's.

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    2. I'm going to have to sniff an old piano the next time I see one :)

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  16. love books, like the real thing and LOVE book cases.. but i also have audible and kindle, one can never have enough books at hand!

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    1. I take it that you like reading ? :)

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  17. I used to read many books, but lately I've stopped, but hope to get back into reading. Good old fashioned paper books for me.
    I've tried a Kindle and Nook but somehow it's just not the same.

    Good luck with your decluttering.

    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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    1. thank you Irene, it is taking ages trying to fit it in with everything else.

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  18. Hi,I LOVE books always have,got to keep St.Agnes Library open,so many cuts going on in the village.Never thought about electronic books,but having read on here about the Kindle might have to look further into them.Hugs

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    1. I hope St Agnes Library survives, it's a lovely little library

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  19. Chickpea - I read this blog post on my phone the other night, and desperately wanted to leave a comment but it would've just taken me too long to reply with 1 finger typing...

    I have a kindle. One of the original ones - with no back light - so to read it in bed in the wee hours of the night whilst not disturbing my husband, I have to have a torch or headlight handy and that's a bit of a pest!!

    Whilst I am grateful to have it, and the supply of books (500-odd) which my son downloaded for me, and it certainly fulfills my reading needs, it is not the same as reading a book. There is something about turning pages, the smell of the pages which wafts up, and the solidness of an actual book that somehow makes it more enjoyable.

    Like you, I am conscious though of the trees it takes to manufacture the books - which I read only once. And it makes me feel guilty - especially given that I have the other option...

    For love of the planet go electronic, and keep those special books as "real" ones :)

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    1. I think for certain books I will try electronic, but not the special ones. As you say it's not the same

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