Thursday, November 19, 2015

Digital vs. Paper: Which Do You Prefer?

Piles of books.

I prefer paper over digital any day. Digital may have its advantages, but for me it'll never replace paper copies. I know others will balk at my allegiance, but that’s fine. It’s my humble opinion. You have your own. However, I am not the only one that prefers paper over digital as this evidence suggests:

     In fact, I just read this:
"Despite predictions that e-books would overtake print by 2015, sales of digital books actually fell 10percent during the first five months of the year. E-books made up 20 percent of the market in 2014, roughly the same proportion that they did several years ago." New York Times. 

     I'm not surprised by this. Are you? I'll never get used to reading via electronically and I never want to. Yes, I have read e-books out of necessity but never by choice. I have a Kindle App on my computer, and I have tried free Kindle books with it, but I don't like it at all.
     There's something special about holding a book in your hands and reading it. Not to mention that when I'm done reading it, I can always shelve it to read it again later on. I can share it with someone else. I can pass it along to someone else to read. I can donate it. I can't do that with a digital copy. In fact, I don't even ever really own that digital copy. I'm basically renting it.  And I never have to worry about recharging any batteries in order to read a book. I don't need any power at all to read a book.
     Some of you might say, "but on an e-reader I can store hundreds of books with minimal space. You can't do that with hundreds of books. You can't carry hundreds of books on a cruise or a hiking trip".  I could, but who would want to? And neither would I have to worry about my book not being there when I want to read it. What good are those hundreds of books if they're not there when you choose to do so? Amazon, whatever, as they've done in the past can always remove the book you're reading or plan to read from your Kindle et al. I have friends that this situation still happens to. They've downloaded a book onto their phone or e-reader, but when they go to read it or continue reading it, the book is gone. Sorry, but digital books are not for me.

     In fact, scientists now realize through testing that people that read digitally retain far less of what they read than when they read an actual hard copy. I'm not surprised by this at all. Are you?
     I believe, as with everything else, digital books have a place but a limited use. I, for one, will never choose a digital copy of a magazine over the hard copy, or the digital book over the hard copy and it is sad, even tragic that so many magazines have cancelled print subscriptions in favor of digital ones. I know because I have had to cancel those magazines. Do they really think that all people own an electronic reader or choose to read like that? Do you? I don't and I will never choose to read like that. Give me a magazine, book or newspaper any day. Digital? You can keep it. Yes, it is the wave of the future, but I'm proud to say that even today I do not own a HDTV. My twenty year old box one works just fine. I don't own iPads, iPods or a smart phone. My five year old cell phone suffices for emergency phone calls. I can't hear out of the darn things anywhere anyway sufficiently to want to carry on conversations. I don't own a tablet and don't endeavor to get one. I don't own a Kindle, Nook whatever and don't aspire to buy one.

     I may be old fashioned, behind in technology, some would even say, but my life is a lot less complicated then it could be with all these tech toys. As it is, it is a lot more complicated than it was with having a laptop in it. That's my take on digital versus paper copies and technology versus what still works. What is your take on it? Do you prefer digital books over paper ones and why or why not? I'd love to hear what you think about it all.
      Until next time, I wish you well. Have a great day, a great week and a great month.  May all your dreams come true. Be Safe. Be happy. Show compassion. Be kind to one another, especially those without a voice. Don't share your personal information just because one asks for it. 
    S.J. Francis
    Advocate for the underdog, and cat, et al.
   In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Available now from Black Opal Books and on-line retailers and independent booksellers.
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And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2015 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.