Doctor Print vs. Mister Kindle

When it comes to print books versus e-books, the reader in me is in a Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde tussle. As Billy Martin said in the “taste great/less filling” beer commercial, I feel very strongly both ways. The true test is when you’re traveling. What do you take with you: a book or your e-reader? On a recent business trip to Kansas City, I couldn’t decide so I took my Kindle–and two paperback books.

I was tempted to go solo with the Kindle, but there are those few minutes when the plane is taking off and the captain tells the passengers to power off all electronic devices. Besides, it’s nice to have a good paperback (or two) in the unlikely event that my Kindle dies or the battery runs low. And since I happened to be reading three books at the same time (my wife thinks I’m crazy for doing that) I brought them all.

In the terminal, I was enjoying the second novel in Kathryn Magendie’s trilogy, Secret Graces. I had my music in my ear buds. I was a happy camper. When I powered off on the plane, I switched to Anne Lamont’s Bird by Bird. Since I was almost done, I also brought Bernard Malamud’s The Natural. I was just getting into one of Anne’s excellent craft essays when we hit 10,000 feet and it was back to the story of Virginia Kate Carey. Landing on the first leg of the flight in Baltimore, I had to abandon Virginia Kate in the middle of a dramatic scene and I nearly finished off Bird by Bird.

The longer leg of the flight to Kansas City took me back to Secret Graces and I made great progress, aided by Wilco in my ear buds. I completed Bird by Bird on the descent to Kansas City.

The next afternoon I returned home and cracked open The Natural, continuing to enjoy the exploits of Roy Hobbs as he smote the ball to lead the New York Knights out of the doldrums. At 10,000 feet it was back to Secret Graces for a long stretch. By the time I returned to The Natural, the Knights had risen to third place in the league.

The short flight from Baltimore to Hartford-Springfield had me juggling the two books. I was again forced to leave Virginia Kate during one of the most dramatic scenes in the book. Meanwhile, in The Natural, fans were celebrating Roy Hobbs Day at Knights Field. And then the plot took a sharp turn and that’s where I left off.

The fact is I still love the feel and the experience of e-books, but it’s nice to read about that hot New York Times bestseller and have it on your Kindle within seconds.

Do you prefer print books or e-books? Are you like me and enjoy both?



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9 responses to “Doctor Print vs. Mister Kindle

  1. First – Made me smile that you are reading SG – because one of my big ‘author fantasy thangs” is for someone to read my book on a plane! Laugh– I admit, when I am in the airport or on a plane, I peek at books to see if someone is reading mine – of course, on a Kindle there’s no way to tell unless you are right next to someone – but I have peeked -teeheehee

    I also grinned at the image of you switching back and forth between books! 😀 laugh! 😀

    I read both, as well. I have a Kindle and I have my print. When I travel, I usually take only my kindle now, but that doesn’t mean I won’t take along a print book (sometimes I do!). I was completely surprised at how much the Kindle is a comfortable read – I never thought I’d like it so much. lawd.

    • Kat,
      Thanks for your comments. Of course I was right in the middle of reading the wedding scene when I had to power off my Kindle. I always take my Kindle when I travel but I bring a paperback, too. I do notice more and more passengers with e-readers these days and fewer with books.

      I did want to let you know I’m really enjoying Secret Graces. You have a real knack for squeezing every drop out of a scene. Your attention to small but significant details adds a lot to your works.


      • I wondered what scene – didn’t know if it was that, or this other one 😀

      • It was that one. I already knew she went through with the wedding from reading the beginning, but you had me kind of wondering there for awhile if she would call it off. To say she was conflicted would be an understatement. I’m at 80 percent now, I don’t like it that Kindle doesn’t give page numbers. Can’t wait to read more.

      • I wanted her to call it off! She should have – humph –

        even characters don’t listen to good advice – just like real people *laugh*

      • That’s the thing about characters. They never listen to us. 🙂

      • That is the thing about characters. They never listen to us.:)

  2. I resisted getting a Kindle for a long time. Would I use it or would it just sit on the shelf? I quickly found out that It is great when I travel, especially if I’m short on space. Lugging 3-5 books along can get cumbersome. I also enjoy reading novels on a Kindle. However, nonfiction books that I want to skip back and forth in or underline, I’d prefer the old fashion way. There are some books-fiction and nonfiction that I’d prefer to have in book form.

    • Sandy,
      Thanks for your comments. I agree the Kindle is better than lugging a lot of books around when traveling. I do like to take a paperback just in case I can’t use the Kindle. Thanks again.

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