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I had an epiphany of sorts last week.

I finally unpacked the books that I hadn’t seen for nearly two years, since we moved to this house, and put them into what hopefully will be their final resting place. I have to say, I had an absolute ball. Those who follow me on Twitter, will have seen me oooh, and ahhh my way through my book collection.

Like I twittered at the time, you really can’t beat the physicality Of the dead tree book.

I really love the convenience of my Sony PRS-505, but whilst I sat going through my old and not-so-old books, I realised that paper books will always come first, last, and always with me.

I guess I hadn’t consciously realised it, but every time I’ve bought an e-book that I’ve really enjoyed, I’ve then gone on and bought a paper copy.

So, basically, in some instances, I’m actually paying twice.

That’s crazy business.

It’s not just the smell of a paper book either, since I’m not all that fond of sniffing paper, but it’s the surge of emotion that I feel, when I catch a glimpse of a particular cover, it’s also the memory that might be linked to that particular book.


For instance, I have a Barbara Cartland book called Captive Heart (It was my mother’s book, hehe), and although I haven’t so much as turned a page in it, in more than twenty years, it will always remind me of the day I was bored at home, so I decided to make a song out of all the books that were within reach.

The first book in the list was BC’s effort, and to this day, I can still recall my little ditty:

“Captives of The Heart (I had to add the ‘of’ and the ‘the’ otherwise it wouldn’t have worked), Exclusive Contract, Obsession,
Savage Adoration, Dilemma in Par-rra-dise!”

Of course it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but I was only twelve.
If I should happen to meet any of you in the future, remind me about it, and I’ll sing it to you. 😀

Anyway, as I was saying, so many of my paper books take me back to happy times. For instance, Virginia Andrews’ Flowers In The Attic reminds me of the day we had a school trip to Alton Towers, and I’d spent the entire night reading because I just couldn’t put it down. I remember how punch-drunk I was during the entire trip, but it was a lovely day.

Rita Clay Estrada’s The Best Things in Life, reminds me of a beloved baby-sitter, who used love playing Diana Ross’ Touch Me In The Morning, at full blast, and used to dance round the room to amuse myself and my brother. She was such a hoot. And a total slut too if I recall correctly:)

My copy of Anne of Green Gables will always remind me of the time my eleven year-old self, ran all the way into town, because the library had sent me a card telling me that the copy of Anne of The Island that I’d ordered had arrived. I wasn’t allowed to go to town on my own, so instead of walking home, which used to take me about 30 minutes, I decided to run into town, and catch the bus back home. I’d figured that my parents would never know that I’d taken a detour, and to this day, I’ve managed to keep that illicit journey a secret)

Megan Alexander’s 1984 caregory, Blossoms in The Snow, was the first Harlequin Super Romance book I’d ever read, and got me on a Super Romance kick, that eventually led to discovering my first Brenda Novak title. The one where the model gets trapped in the snow with the hero, and ends up getting pregnant. Anybody know which one I mean?

I still have a great amount of my favourite children’s books e.g. Pollyanna, Heidi, Dimsie, Famous Five books, Gulliver’s Travels, The Bagthorpes (the funniest books evah), Just Willam, Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Little Princess, etc, and each of them come with precious memories. They are mostly worn , yellow-looking, and dog-eared, but they are still here with me.

A lot of us have soundtracks that chart our lives, well, I also have books that do the same.

Will I feel the same about the books in my e-Reader in twenty years time? Will I be filled with warmth as I click through the pages of the books in my Reader? Will I be taken back to a time and place, that meant so much to me? Will those books still even be in my e-Reader?

I don’t know what the answer is, but I’m pretty sure the answer will be no.

I love the instant gratification of e-books, and the convenience of the e-book reader, after all, taking books on holiday will never again be a chore, but alas they can never ever replace the paper book in my heart.

What say you?

By the way, I’ve also noticed that it takes me a lot longer to read e-books these days, but that may be due to the actual device rather than anything else. A scroll button on my Sony Reader would have been so much better.


  • you really can’t beat the physicality Of the dead tree book.

    I really love the convenience of my Sony PRS-505, but whilst I sat going through my old and not-so-old books, I realised that paper books will always come first, last, and always with me.

    Ditto, and double-ditto to this whole post. I love the convenience of my SONY, and I’ve been reading ebooks on my pc for years (since EC was just about the only epub game in town) but I love da paper! (Probably shouldn’t be stating this as an epubbed author. *g*)

    Interestingly enough, while I do have keeper ebooks, I’ve never felt the urge at all to buy the paper version if available. I guess those keepers, weren’t *that type* of keeper. Conversely, there are books that are releaseed in ebook and paper and I know right off the bat I want the paper because I want that added experience of holding the book, turning the pages, enjoying the artwork, etc.

    I have a blog post saved that I wrote yesterday and just requires a photo from the nearby ravine to make it complete. But the post is about how the artwork of a certain childhood story has stayed with me all these years. I probably wouldn’t have had those memories if the story had been read to me from an ebook, or even shown as a short movie. There’s just something about ‘book’ books.

    Having said all that I don’t doubt for a minute that ebooks will achieve greater popularity as time goes on. They are the future. I’m sure there were peeps who held on to their illuminated scrolls for dear life rather than take up with those newfangled books! lol.


  • FD
    June 15
    11:20 am

    About a decade ago I gave away hundreds and hundreds (literally) of categories and other romances to a retirement home near me. At the time, I didn’t think I’d regret it, but now? I feel all wistful about the paperbacks by people like Barbara Delinsky, Lass Small, Linda Howard, Susan Napier, Paula Marshall and dammnit, my Dinah Deans which are worth a FORTUNE now, and I can’t afford to replace.

    I just hope the residents got some good reading out of them, unlike the unfortunate residents of the old-folks home that was featured on Romancing the Blog.


  • Oh Karen, lovely post.

    I want an e-reader but I know that paper-made books will never die. When you cuddle in bed with your child, it’s a book you hold. And as an aspiring author, the fantasy is the paper-made book with my name on it: always has been.

    Still I do want an e-reader some day…


  • Myra Luz
    June 15
    2:08 pm

    I bought a Kindle a few months back but I’ve only read two books on it. I have tons of paper books lining my office ceiling to floor, have read every one. At last count it was well over 400 and my DH keeps giving me the arched brow when I buy new ones (I bought seven over the weekend at B&N).

    The thing is, though, there are some authors’ whose works can’t be purchased in print and I’ve become addictive to their writing style. Though they have some books in print the new ones are all e-books and if I want to read them, I’ll move heaven and earth to do so. One of my fav authors has only two books available in Kindle so I buy from her publishers’ websites and put them on my backup drive where I’ve got all my e-books, music, and vids stored.


  • I have both. Way more than hundreds. I buy the new books immediately in digital format. And when I have the opportunity if the book is a real keeper for me, I’ll also pick it up in print.

    There are a FEW authors that I buy only in hardback. And I just want to say that I’m SO thrilled that the Georgette Heyers are being re-issued in print because mine were printed when they were using that icky glue that dries up and the books are basically just piles of loose pages held together with a rubber band!


  • M E 2
    June 15
    2:57 pm

    Regarding the Brenda Novak book, I am guessing it is one of these three :

    HS-899 Expectations Feb-2000

    HS-939 Snow Baby Sep-2000

    HS-955 Baby Business Dec-2000

    Oh, I too adore dead tree books. I don’t get the ebook thing, at all. To each their own though.


  • Karen Scott
    June 15
    3:33 pm

    Jesus, I forgot to edit this before it posted. Will sort it out when I have two minutes.


  • Karen Scott
    June 15
    3:35 pm

    By the way ME2, it was Snow Baby. Thanks!


  • I love ebooks but I do have to admit when there is a book that I really loved-as in I’ll read it more than a few times, then I buy the print.

    But a lot of the books I read on it, I won’t read more than once or twice, and for those, ebooks are wonderful.

    *G* When i go on vacation, I no longer have to lug around a tote full of 20+ books. Just my reader and I never run out of reading material-love that.


  • I heart the dead trees cause I love the feel of a book in my hands, the smell of the bookstore sends in in to orbit. While I enjoy E-books I will always heart real live books!


  • Anon76
    June 15
    10:24 pm

    Dang, I know I’m going off topic for a sec, but, Karen, I’d like to talk to you about a “dilemma” question based on a movie trailer I just saw. One for the group to chew on.

    Would just send you an email privately, but can’t find your addy. (Techno challenged here. LOL) Anyhoo, drop me a line from the email that I’m registered here with, or post it here and I’ll watch for it.


  • I am lusting after an E-reader, and plan on having one before the year is out. Birthday? Christmas? I’m putting it out there!

    But I can’t imagine a shelf, a room, a life! without R-books. I just know I’ll be joining the club of buying in paper if I really like the electronic version. And I’m especially looking forward to discovering some new authors when I join this century and start downloading. 🙂


  • I wanted to go digital for the longest time. When Sony Reader finally launched in Switzerland, I didn’t get one due to the language-specific software on the models sold here. I considered importing one from the UK, but the current discussions on geographical restrictions at many etailers has put me right off. Also, the price of ebooks in comparison to paper is ridiculous, particularly when the reading devices themselves don’t come cheap.

    Until and unless Amazon introduces the Kindle to Europe with no language or geographical restrictions, I’m sticking with the dead tree variety.


  • Karen Scott
    June 16
    5:42 pm

    Hi Anon76 email me at hairylemony @ gmail. Com no spaces.


  • […] Scott has a fun blog entry entitled I Love E-Books, But Dead Tree Books Are Tops. Author: Sarah Categories: All About Books, Random Musings Tags: Comments (0) Trackbacks […]

  • A Little Princess is my all-time favorite children’s book, and in keeping with your point about the evocative qualities of books, it even has to be a very specific edition of A Little Princess, with the cover illustration by Jessie Wilcox Smith. Not (and I apologize to those who feel differently; honestly, it’s just me) Tasha Tudor!

    But I have to say that my most favorite books don’t evoke the time and place when I read them because my most favorite books really did transport me to *their* time and place, getting me out of whatever doldrums I had in my own time and place. That may be why I love those books the best.

    (I used to own all the old Barbara Cartlands — and I make no apologies. Supposedly my aunt made a comment about my college-era bookshelf as the only one where “Emanuel Kant is alongside Barbara Cartland.”)


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