After making the switch from paper books to an ereader I’m still not totally sold on the electronic version. Despite the convenience of an ereader, some things are still easier and better in paper.
I like to read footnotes and this is often really difficult on my ereader. On my ereader the footnote is indicated with a small * or symbol embedded in the text. If I tap the symbol with my finger it’s supposed to take me to the appropriate footnote. The problem is the ereader often confuses my tapping the footnote symbol with either the tap used to turn pages or the tap used to bring up menu options. *sigh* It’s maddening. I often give up on reading footnotes because it’s too time consuming and annoying to “flip pages” in the ereader to reach them.
On an ereader the tap location sometimes indicates the action. For example, tapping on the right side of the screen means “next page”. Whereas tapping on the left means “previous page”. This is a non-issue in a paper book where the reader is free to flip pages in any direction at any time.
Reading maps is easier and better in print, especially if it’s a two-page spread. The image is never big enough on the ereader. I also refer to the maps periodically while reading. Similar to the footnotes, this is fast and easy in paper, but time consuming with an ereader.
With print I am often able to locate the passage I’m thinking of by remembering where it was physically located on a page, or maybe even as part of a particular section. I find it difficult to use these strategies when searching on an ereader.
In the ereader, however, I search for keywords which has proven to be faster than flipping through pages.
Almost no contest here. The ereader is easier to carry and read in crowded places, such as my morning subway commute. It’s wonderful to take multiple books with me on vacation, unless I plan on reading near the ocean. Salt + waves = potential ereader disaster
Ultimately I prefer the ereader, but I maintain a healthy respect and appreciation for paper books. I would be sad if all the paper books disappeared in favor of their digital replicas. Every once in a while I go “old school” and relish the experience of reading print.