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It’s a battle that has raged on forever (well, since 2007) – are e-readers such as Kindles, Kobos and Nooks better than a mighty stack of traditional paperbacks? Whether you want the flexibility of carrying a whole library or adore the tactile feel of a REAL book, check out why we love both ways to read…

Why e-books rock 

  • You can literally take your whole book collection with you and it won’t weigh a tonne! Great if you like switching from book to book, if you’re a quick reader, or want to take a hefty series on your travels.
  • Its easy to spontaneously buy an e-book from your own home and digital copies are cheaper than shiny new hardbacks. You can get many classics for free or download a sample before you buy to check that you’ll like what you’re about to read.
  • Never scratch your head at the meaning of words again – just tap to read dictionary definitions! Plus, you can easily highlight sections and make notes (great for studying on the go).
  • They’re portable and readable with just one hand; so very convenient for commuting. The adjustable text size and backlight let you customise your experience and you’re saving paper too.

Why paper books rock 

  • Book sniffer? There’s nothing like that paper book smell, the sensation of turning pages, and colourful illustrations that pop off the page. Let’s face it – a library of books is B-E-A-UTIFUL.
  • Studies suggest we read paper differently to digital and it can help us remember the order of events in a story. The sentimental value of a physical book connects you to it more.
  • Book swapping, library borrowing and second-hand shops mean they’re amazing value. Losing a cheap paperback on holiday isn’t as annoying as losing a pricey gadget like your Kindle and your whole library.
  • Handwriting on pages, showing off your fine taste to commuters and helping bookshops; paper books are a lifestyle choice! And if the apocalypse comes/there’s no plug socket, you’re sorted.

So, our verdict is a very fair it depends. Of course there’s no reason not to use both for different reasons, just like you would alternate a practical iPod and a gorgeous collection of vinyls. Stay tuned for a future post about our favourite reads for travelling…

Written by Ruby Higton

Here is Ruby and she is a digital marketer at YHA. She looks after all things social media, as well as content writing for livemore.yha.org.uk and SEO. Her favourite YHA is YHA Perranporth.

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