PROS & CONS of Physical and Digital Books

An age-old debate: What kind of book is better, Physical or Electronic?

For a while now readers have been divided into two groups, those who read physical books and those who read on a Kindle. With the introduction of the Kindle, many people have stopped purchasing physical books from bookstores for quite a few valid reasons. As a reader who utilises both physical and Ebooks, I think that I can speak for both sides of the debate and provide you with a great starting point if you are thinking about buying yourself a kindle in the future. As the title of this posts suggests I will be discussing the pros and cons of reading both physical and Ebooks.

Disclaimer: There is no right or wrong way to read a book, whether it be physical or electronic. I am in no way bashing the medium that a reader chooses to engage with. 


Physical Books


  • The smells – (No I’m not weird I promise) Sometimes its really nice to have the smell of the pages envelop you when you are reading. It gives another element to reading which isn’t available to you with electronic reading devices.
  • Turning pages and progress – Knowing how far you are in the book is something that I have taken for granted. I like seeing how many pages I have left and pondering what could possible happen in those pages
  • They don’t run out of power – There is nothing that I hate more then bringing your kindle with you and realising that it didnt charge properly the night before. Fortunitly, this is definitely not an issue for physical books thank God!
  • Comforting – Something about having a book with you or around you is somehwat comforting. Its nice to know that theres an escape route available for you if you need it.
  • They are great to put on display and collect on bookcases – Its really nice to have your books on display in your house or in your room. After moving and having a lot more space to play with I’ve found that books are a great way to make your space feel more homely and inviting. And a great way to get some colour in a room too!



  • Clunky – Books can be over sized and difficult to store and bring with you when going out into the world.
  • Easy to break and deform – When reading a book you can try your very best to try not to ruien the pages or break the spine but sometimes these things can be totally out of our controll. Especially when you take your books with you when travelling.
  • EXPENSIVE – Many books in Australia can be quite expensive, especially hard cover books. There are a few great websites like the book depository which is perfect for this problem, but still, why are they so bloody expensive.
  • You can’t read it at night without a light – Have you ever been so entranced in a book that you don’t realise it’s dark untill you can’t read the pages. It’s a pain.
  • Heavy – Carrying books around in your bag can make your bag heavier and uncomfortable. Your hands can get sore when holding a heavy book for a long period of time and packing and moving your books around in boxes can also become a hassle.


Electronic Ebooks

When it comes down to it you could read books from any kind of smart device available to you like iPads or smartphones. However, these devices aren’t made for this and can really hurt your eyes over time. It’s best to stick to Kindles due to their anti-glare screens which are made to appear like reading off a page.


  • Very affordable Most of the books that are available on Kindle can be very affordable for readers which is amazing. Kindles are great for those who don’t want to pay full price for a physical book
  • All the books fit on one device – Instead of having a million books that you don’t have room for the Kindle allows for readers to have all these books on one small device. This is very handy when you travel and want to have a few options available for you to read.
  • Customisable (font size) – I think this is the best thing about the Kindle. Sometimes it can be very difficult to read the words on a page because the font that has been chosen is so small. Being able to customise the font and its size is a big advantage for those who find reading difficult.
  • Very portable and light – Kindles are small and nice and thin which allows for users to put them away in bags without having to take up to much space. More space for snacks!
  • No hands to hold down the pages – Putting a book down on a table or other surface while trying to read results in the pages flipping and you loose your spot.
  • People can’t tell what your reading  – It’s nice to have some privacy when you read especially on public transport.
  • Convenient to buy books and no need to wait to go to a book store – Books can be bought instantly on the Kindle shop and downloaded on to the device. Theres no need to wait to go to the book store to get your latest fix.
  • Don’t take up too much space – Kindles are pretty compact and can fit just about anywhere. They are great to bring when you travel around due to being able to just pop it in your bag and go. Just watch out for water!


  • Kindles can be expensive – Kindles can be quite expensive to buy, but it’s worth it in the end. You can buy a Kindle paperwhite pretty cheap on Amazon for AUD $139.99 or JB Hifi for AUD $179
  • Miss holding a book and flipping pages (progress) –  When your using a Kindle you can sometimes miss flipping the pages and holding a real book. As well as this not being able to see your progress while your reading can be a pain.
  • Eye Strain – Reading on a Kindle for long periods of time can cause eye strain and can make your eyes sore
  • Buttons can be distracting – I don’t know about you but the buttons on Kindles can be kind of distracting when your reading.
  • Runs out of battery – A kindles battery does last for a while, however, when you forget to charge it and only have a small percentage left it can leave you in

If you’re looking into buying a Kindle make sure you do some research first! Bellow is a comparison chart taken off Amazon which highlights the techs of those that you can buy on the market today. For more information please check out the Amazon page!

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In the end, it doesn’t matter how you read as everyone who reads is a true lover of literature regardless of the medium used. What are your thoughts on the debate, and do you agree or disagree? What do you enjoy reading with? Have I missed anything that you think I should add?


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