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Which eReader Should Replace My Books?

Updated on September 20, 2014

Should I Buy a Kindle, Nook or Other eReader to Replace My Books?

Electronic readers are small and light, while books can be heavy. And Lord knows books are bulky and take up way too much space.

So a tantalizing question forms: Which eReader should I buy so I can get rid of all the books that seem to pile up around the home?

And the answer is none. There simply is no way a Kindle, Nook or tablet can ever replace books in the home. I'm not saying eReaders don't have any value. I see evidence of their usefulness on my commuter train every morning among the passengers who use the handy gadgets to catch up on news or enjoy a good read.

So go ahead. Buy an eReader. But here are some reasons you should just accept that the electronic device will complement those books in your house, not replace them.

The intro image is courtesy of Ian Wilson.

Beowulf Mother and Son
Beowulf Mother and Son

Reading to a Child on Your Lap

Opening a Child's Eyes Through Picture Books

There is no simpler and deeper pleasure than having a son, daughter or grandchild on your lap while you open a large picture book and read to them. That is the No. 1 reason you must have books in the house -- for the children. Their eyes sparkle with amazement as they scan the beautiful images, and listen intently as you read the story.

And if it's a child's favorite, he will want to flip back and forth and make you read the same passages over and over. Or she'll want to talk about each picture.

That just won't be the same joyful experience on a Kindle.

This public domain image is from Stories of Beowulf, 1908.

Sneaky Reading Under the Covers

A Bedtime Tradition That Needs to Live On!

The easiest way for a parent to develop a child's love of anything is to say ''no'' at times. One of the favorite memories of any book lover is sneaky reading after bedtime, curled up under the covers or next to a night light and squinting to make out the words of a favorite story or comic book.

But to engage in that secret pleasure there has to be reading materials available in the child's room. An electronic reader won't do simply because it's too easy to take away. But no parent is going to haul every book out of the room every night.

So for the sake of this time-honored tradition, books, comics and magazines must stay!

How to Train Your Dragon - The British Series Not the Movie Version!

The books that my son never tires of reading once he's snug in bed and supposed to be sleeping are author Cressida Cowell's tales of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, which kicked off with ''How to Train Your Dragon.''

They are very funny, clever books. Everyone in the family enjoyed them and they have little in common with the disappointing movie of a few years ago. Check them out -- you won't be disappointed!

The Beauty of a Book-Lined Room

Is There Anything More Soothing in a Home?

When we were looking for a home in 2009 after returning from abroad, the first thing that caught my wife's eye when we walked into the house that we would eventually buy was the living room with its glass-front, built-in bookcases. They just made the room feel warm and welcoming, and it's hard to believe that a house without bookshelves could ever really be a home.

In fact, the few times I've been in a house where there were no bookcases the place seemed sterile, artificial. There's just something soothing to the human soul to see rows of books lining the walls of a house's rooms.

The Maltese Falcon
The Maltese Falcon

Deep Emotions Just Can't Be Stored Electronically

Holding an Old Book Lets You Slip Into Your Past

True book lovers hoard their favorites for decades. I have my Dashiell Hammett collection on the bookcase in the upstairs hallway, for instance, and my wife keeps her favorite French-language books in the aforementioned glass-lined bookcases downstairs.

On a lazy afternoon I'll pull ''The Maltese Falcon'' down and reread Spade's final speech to the villainous Brigid O'Shaughnessy, perusing the same pages I did when I was a young college student. Would the scene have the same impact if I looked it up on an eReader? Maybe. But there's something about reading the words from the same book for decades, something about the actual feel of the pages, that brings out a deeper emotion, that enables the book not just to transport me into Hammett's story but also to tap into my own past.

No electronic device is ever going to do that.

The image here is from the public domain trailer for The Maltese Falcon movie from 1941.

Children Reading
Children Reading

Passing Your Favorites to the Children

Handing Over the Exact Same Book to a New Generation

Some family heirlooms are precious because of their monetary value: jewelry, furniture, the silverware. Keeping old photos within the family can be a duty as much as a pleasure.

But digging out an old book that you loved as a kid and reading it with your child for the first time almost always is a joy. Especially when the tale captures your child's imagination the same way your imagination was captivated years earlier.

For my wife, it was Alice in Wonderland and Beatrix Potter.

For me, it was the Three Investigators, a series of mystery tales starring a trio of young teens. When I first gave them to the younger half of Goldenrulecomics, she zipped through my entire collection and begged for more.

This photo of children reading Dr. Seuss' ''How The Grinch Stole Christmas'' is by scbailey.

Amazon's Kindle

While electronic readers will never replace books, they do have their uses. Our family has two Kindles, and my wife finds hers particularly useful because she can stick it in her purse and do a few minutes' reading between classes.

Sometimes I will find something on Amazon that I will download and read as well.

We have never had any problems with ours, which are the mid-level device without a lot of fancy frills or wi-fi.

So we can recommend a Kindle. We've never tried a nook or a tablet.

What Are Your Plans?

Are You Going to Replace Your Books with an eReader?

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About Goldenrulecomics

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Thanks for visiting and hearing our views on the subject of eReaders replacing books. Now it's your turn to speak out!

Please share your opinion on eReaders vs. books, this article or anything else related.

Thanks again!

What Are Your Thoughts on eReaders?

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    • lyttlehalfpint profile image


      7 years ago from Canada

      I use my eReader (not one mentioned here) as it is just more convenient, cheaper and space saving, but any time I come across a new book I simply love, or is one of those books I can read numerous times ... I get the real thing. I think eReaders are a great tool and resource but will never beat the feel a old fashioned paper book will give you.

    • MartiLawrence profile image

      Marti Lawrence 

      7 years ago from Grain Valley, Missouri

      The kids got my husband an e-reader after he had a stroke and his left side was paralyzed. He can operate it with his one good arm, whereas reading a regular print book was almost impossible.

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      7 years ago

      To me, eReaders are a godsend because they contain up to thousands of books that would otherwise be on my shelves, or mean countless trips to the library in traffic. I like going to the library, but don't miss the rush to get books back on time whatever the weather.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I am usually reading one book on my Kindle and one hard back. I like to take my Kindle to appointments or car rider line for school or anywhere that I will be waiting. I just keep it in my purse almost all the time with a book loaded and ready to read.

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      7 years ago

      Since my place is not large enough for my books and me the books have been winnowing down, sort of self-exclusion. But each time I pick up one book to decide whether it goes or stays, it usually stays.

    • Old Navy Guy profile image

      Old Navy Guy 

      7 years ago

      I am sure that in our entitlement, 'me first' society that is emerging, eReader's or Kindle's and/or electronic devices will eventually replace books. But not for me. When I pass, I will leave behind nearly 1,540 books for my heirs. Theirs to do with as they please. Many are first editions, but I raised my children with a love for books which they are having some difficulty passing along to their own children. But only time will tell. As you say, there is nothing more comforting than a room lined with bookshelves and books, awaiting reading. Thanks for a fun read today and cheers.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Don't have kindle, but purchased an electronic (pdf) book from Kindle. Kept losing my place so drove down to the bookstore and bought the paper back. Guess for light reading e-readers are okay.

      Thanks for the nice informative lens.

    • ValerieJoy profile image

      Valerie Smith 

      7 years ago from New Zealand

      I like eReaders but I wouldn't want them to replace books altogether.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wonderful to have one of these gadgets when travelling but they can never replace a book

    • Northerntrials profile image


      7 years ago

      I'll never buy a Kindle. It forces you to buy books only from Amazon. I like my Kobo better because I choose what format and where to buy books.

    • Mr Criminology profile image


      7 years ago from Philippines

      kindle seems a pretty nice product, i am using a tablet right now, but i can only read PDF files.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens! I agree - reading with a child is a wonderful reason to have books lining your shelves! My daughter has almost 150 books in her room, and she always begs for more stories at bedtime. I'm excited to discover the "How to Train Your Dragon" series with her as she gets older.

    • Jogalog profile image


      8 years ago

      I think they are great as they encourage people to read more but personally I like real books and I love to borrow from the local library.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      e-reader for when I'm commuting, books for home reading.

    • cgbroome profile image


      8 years ago

      I don't have an e-reader yet, although I do have Kindle on my cellphone. I do plan to get one someday but only to complement a "physical" book. What many people do not realize is that when you "buy" an e-book you are not actually buying the book but only the rights to read the book. Whichever company you "buy" the rights to read a book can pull that right away from you at any time, without notice. You'll just notice one day some books are missing. This has happened to literally thousands of people. The rights to read is all there in fine print - which nobody seems to read. I have heard that legislation is underway to make providers disclose this fact more openly and boldly. In any case, I'll still eventually get an e-reader but it will never replace the actual books.

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 

      8 years ago from Diamondhead

      I have and e reader and find it must easier to find books. Where I live it is difficult to find books without traveling a great distance. It is an enjoyable way to read books

    • shewins profile image


      8 years ago

      I don't have an eReader yet, but I'm sure I will never get rid of my books.

    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 

      8 years ago from Burbank, CA

      I bought my first nook with my trepidation. I felt the jealousy from my printed books. But I quickly adapted and got the nook color as soon as it came out. I gave my sister my old nook. Now I am writing this comment on my samsung galaxy note 8.0. I love it. I travel for work so I have my library with me at all times. Magazines too. And apps!

      I love books they are so decorative! And will keep my fave printed ones too.

    • RationalHedonist profile image


      8 years ago

      I write and do a lot of research. Because I travel, I've bought four research books for my Nexus. I thought it'd be easier to take with me, but in the end, I usually end up taking several books anyway, I LIKE burying myself with several open books spread over the bed and finding the connections to tie together. Can't have multi-books open and in front of you with a e-reader.

    • BrianRS profile image

      Brian Stephens 

      8 years ago from France

      Have to admit, since I started using a Kindle I rarely get a hard copy. I am not throwing away my printed books because I already have them, but my new purchases will be digital books. They are cheaper more convenient and I never forget what page I am on. Take your point on reading to kids, but as eReaders get more sophisticated, they will be able to engage children in ways a printed book never could and they will be interactive. Bottom line is I think there is room for printed and digital.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love my Kindle reader. I hardly buy any new paper books these days - but I had a huge collection before I got the Kindle anyway. It's really handy being able to carry hundreds of books with me (I travel a lot).

    • Katsorourke profile image


      8 years ago

      I have an archos but it mostly holds all my books I think it is a great way of storing them if you have a small house and you cont need a light on in bed at night when reading saves the turn off the light argument lol

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My classic and fav won't be gone soon, but I do read other books on my Kindle.

    • InfoCoop profile image


      8 years ago

      I like the convenience of e-readers but ther are so many other sensory experiences missing from them: the crisp sound of the page turn and slightly musty smell of an old book. Can't be beat!

    • LisaDH profile image


      8 years ago

      I have a Kindle Fire and absolutely love it! I never thought the transition from printed books to an ereader would be so easy, but I love the instant gratification of seeing a book, downloading it and being able to start reading immediately. The only thing I don't like is having my Kindle die in the middle of a book because I forgot to charge it. Aaaaagggghhh!


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