E-Reader v. Phone v. Good old fashion paper


I understand how awesome e-readers are. They’re actually pretty amazing, and I don’t hold any ill will to people who use them, but I find myself sticking with traditional printed media, at least for books. I find it easier to remember covers, names of authors etc.

I read newspapers and magazines online, unless a magazine has a cover I want like the recent edition of Der Spiegel with the Beheading of Liberty illustration on it, or Abigail Gray Swartz’s interpretation of Rosie the Riveter on The New Yorker. Though that’s probably because I’m a student studying illustration just like to see it out in the wild like that.


I love physical books, but I feel like I can’t justify buying them anymore unless I really want one particularly badly. I just have too much stuff and because I plan to make a pretty huge move later this year I don’t know how I’m going to get there with the stuff I have already (the likely answer is that I probably won’t).

I’ve thought about getting a tablet or an e-reader for ebooks and digital comics, but I haven’t pulled the trigger because I’m not sure what to get. I was leaning toward getting an iPad because it would be nice to have an iOS device for gaming purposes, but that might be more money than I’m willing to spend at this point. An e-reader would probably be good enough, but I haven’t really looked into models or anything.

Also I’m happy others in this thread thought about the GBA peripheral as well. I think I might still have that thing lying around…


I like reading some things on my Kindle, but mostly I just have to have paper. I like writing little notes to my future self, or a friend that borrowed it from me. I don’t get that same effect with kindle. Not to mention it’s hard to flip back to a page to remember what happened when talking about it with a friend.


If Amazon would match physical purchases to eBooks/Kindle versions of books like they do with music purchases, I would grab a proper Kindle device in a heartbeat. That way I could have my cake and eat it too


Depends on the book? I read fiction almost exclusively on my Kindle, but I also buy a lot of cheap used texts and other large format books that just work better in physical form.


Almost all of the books that I read are on my (outdated?) Kindle Keyboard (WiFi/3G). I love using it, but I think it’s reaching the end of it’s life.

Comics are mostly read on either an iPad (4th Gen) or Samsung Chromebook Plus. I prefer the Plus for the larger screen.

Newpapers/articles are also mostly done on the Chromebook Plus or iPhone.

I think the only physical things I read anymore are the books for my 5 yr old. He doesn’t need any additional screen time.


It really depends. I consume most media digitally these days but like some games, there are books that I like physical copies of for display. E-readers are good for eye strain problems when you may be doing a lot of reading at one time. I don’t care to read on my phone and have a strange “thing” that while I consume most of my media digitally, I like the size to be similar to the physical medium, meaning I read comics on a larger windows tablet becaue the screen size feels similar to holding a comic book. I need novels & manga on a smaller android tablet I’ve had for years.


I am a weird old person, but I vastly prefer physical books (and comics, though I’m a bit less picky w. comics). It’s mostly a point of stimulation at this point - I read every night before bed to calm the F down and focus my mind on imagining the text, and not looking at a rectangle of light helps me do that.

I also like the tactile feeling of paper, turning pages, etc. Even the smell of books.

I certainly use my phone/tablet/laptop to read every day (for work, and all work-associated stuff), but for fiction/pleasure reading, it’s all dead trees, all the way.


I’ve had an 2G Kindle and an iPad Pro as e-readers. My Kindle was my favorite device ever. It was easy to read, easy to use, and needed charged like, once a month if that.

Then it died.

Then I bought an iPad Pro and I love it as a reader even more than the Kindle. The hi res screen really does make the reading of eBooks great. I use Chrome for web-browsing, unless I have a long article, then I open it in Safari and use the “Reader” tab to format all nice and neat.

It deposed the Kindle as my favorite reading device.


The feel of holding a nice paperback cannot be usurped by anything. It is sublime. Euphoric. Spiritual. They feel good. Smell good. Sound good. Probably taste good? I’ve not eaten a book before, but I can imagine.

But the convenience of an e-reader is a very strong argument and I end up leaning that way more often than not. I don’t have enough bookshelves.

Reading on a phone or tablet or computer screen is hell, though. There’s no benefit to it in the face of an e-reader. Please, yes, let me burn my retinas to dust with a bright phone screen!!

I wish I had more physical space to hold all the books I want. Suppose I could start selling old ones? I have a harder time getting rid of books than I do literally anything else I consume. D:


I probably wouldn’t hate reading on a phone, but the problems I have with it are 1) the glass and my smudgy fingers and 2) the glare from overhead lights. I feel like a tablet (which is a good size for reading books and magazines) would have the same issues.


The other sizeable issue with phones and tablets is that, for me, there is a lot of importance in the ritual of reading. Where I go and what I do are important to get me in the mindset where I’m going to read for an hour or two, so the experience being something abnormal is important for me. While a phone or tablet might have convenience on their side, the temptation to procrastinate or get distracted (like if a friend texts you) is much higher. As someone who only reads non-fiction, I also feel like I absorb less information that way, which is difficult.

I also read a lot on a computer for university work, so it’s not like I can’t read digitally, it’s just a ritual thing for me.


I’ve pretty much transitioned to kindle paperwhite for everything but comics/graphic novels. I still get those in print, because I lend them out to friends much more frequently. I do wish full-color e-ink devices had materialized instead of ending up as vaporware. I have a stack of 20 or so physical books that I’m slowly chipping away at, and when I’m through with those and they’re shelved or passed on, I’ll probably be digital only.

The only gap is that the Paperwhite doesn’t support external apps. I do performance poetry, and it was so nice to have Evernote on a kindle fire (no longer supported, alas) so I could make tagged lists of poems for a given set and then read them out of a book-shaped thing, even putting in last minute edits before going onstage. Paperwhite doesn’t have that. Definitely a unique use case, but I wish it had a more robust note system than just converting sent text to ebooks.