E-readers vs. Books

Guest post by Jen Martinez. Note: some of us here at Trip30 are big fans of e-readers.

I’m not old-fashioned about many things, but one thing that I continue to be an advocate for is a good book – and not the kind that you have on your e-reader.

I understand the practicality of e-readers. They’re lightweight, easy to use, and they allow you to bring multiple books with you, without adding more pounds to your luggage. They’re compact. They’re helpful. They’re modern.

I still don’t like ‘em.

When I’m traveling, I do a lot of work prior to my departure. I research my destination, keep tabs on the local weather forecast, and plan a few meals and/or activities in advance. A large part of my research comes down to one thing: what I need to pack. Granted, I’m not the best packer. I’ve been known to overpack most of the time. However, the one thing that I never, ever regret bringing with me is a book.

That’s right; in my suitcase (or carry-on), you will always find a real, honest-to-goodness book stowed away, just waiting for me to pick it up and slowly leaf through its [paper!] pages. On more than one occasion, I’ve sacrificed several articles of clothing just so I could fit at least one book.

Why do I do it? I could’ve brought those three extra shirts if I just had an e-reader, right? Probably. Yet, I still cling to the romantic notion of holding a real book in my hands, made of paper, with a cover and binding and the whole nine yards. I can smell the book and where it’s been. I can scribble notes in its margins with my favorite pen. I can jump back and forth between pages and chapters as fast or as slow as I need to. When my thoughts travel elsewhere in between pages and I have to go back several times to reread what I missed, I can do so with ease.

And when I return home and put the book (or two) back into my bookshelf, I can remember that I read it on the beach in Kauai or on the plane back to California for the holidays. When I spot those books in my bookcase later, I’ll remember exactly where I was and how I felt when I was reading them. I get transported back to that long plane trip to Sydney, or that car ride with my parents. An e-reader can’t hold onto my travel memories like that.

Posted by Jen Martinez