Revisiting Paper Books

I made the switch to ebooks years ago and pretty much exclusively read them over paper books. I can't even remember the last time I read a paper book. There were so many things that I liked better about ebooks that I didn't really miss paper books despite the fact that there was a time in my life when I swore that ebooks could never replace paper books. Two major advantages ebooks had for me is that I didn't have to worry about my hands cramping up from holding the book open and I could make the font bigger to reduce eye strain. There's also none of that musty smell that older books get which really doesn't agree with me. I also love the fact that I can just click on a word I don't know and easily look it up. Reading ebooks on my tablet also means I can read easily in the dark without awkward book lights. It's also extremely convenient that I can carry hundreds of books around with me. Granted I don't actually need hundreds of books with me at once, but it's good because if I finish a book when I'm away from home and I'm not sure in advance what I want to read next, then I have lots of options. Probably the only thing I miss about paper books are physical bookmarks. There are so many beautiful and awesome bookmarks out there and I have some that I really love, but I obviously can't use them with ebooks. Though physical bookmarks also have the disadvantage that they can sometimes fall out of the book and you'll never lose your place with an ebook.


So if I love ebooks so much, why would I ever go back to paper books? Well unfortunately there are some books out there that just aren't available in digital format, either legitimately or as bootlegs. In these cases I have no choice but to use paper books. There are quite a few books I own that I'd like to read again that I can't find as ebooks, and recently I acquired several out of print used paperback books that were also not available as ebooks. I started reading one of these paperbacks yesterday and it was the first time I'd read a physical book in I have no idea how long. I have to say I'm not really enjoying the experience. My hands are cramping up even more painfully than I remember from when I used to read paper books years ago. I think I'd probably do better with hardback books as they would be easier to keep open, but unfortunately most of the books in question were never available as hardbacks. The strain on my eyes doesn't seem too bad, but I'm finding that I have to reread passages much more frequently than I do with ebooks. The musty smell of the book is quite irritating and makes me cough periodically. Of course it's also annoying having to make sure I have an external light source and having to keep my tablet next to me in case I need to look up words. I'm also reluctant to take my paperback books with me when I leave the house for fear that something will happen and they will accidentally get damaged. The only thing I'm really enjoying about reading a paper book again is that I get to use my favorite bookmarks that my grandmother gave me which hold great sentimental value for me. I'm doing the best I can to enjoy the content of the book despite all these frustrations, but I'm finding that I just can't wait to get to the end of the book and be done with it. I'll definitely be happy when the day comes where all the books I want to read will have digital editions.