Thoughts on the complementary values of paper and e-books

Digital readers, rejoice! To Kill a Mockingbird will newly be available in e-book format on author Harper Lee’s 88th birthday this July. I learned of the news from a post by my friend Ashley, a teacher at LePort Schools, this morning. In her post, Ashley beautifully described the distinct, complementary values of both paper and e-books:

These days, I almost exclusively read content digitally, whether through e-books, online subscriptions, or blog posts. Besides one magazine I receive in hard copy, it’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a physical book or newspaper. I find digital content so much more convenient and I’m much more likely to actually read it. When two of my friends wanted me to read Love in the Time of Cholera so we could all discuss it together, I was disappointed that I couldn’t find an e-book copy of it.

But when one of those friends lent me her well-loved paperback, I was thrilled. I was surprised at how much joy it brought me to hold a book in my hands and I’m so excited to read it.

So I absolutely agree with Ashley’s post: both paper and e-book formats are valuable in distinct, complementary, beautiful ways.

Do you prefer one or the other consistently? Or maybe you like reading non-fiction on a device and fiction in a physical book (or some other combination)? Have we missed out on any key values you enjoy about your favorite format?

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