As a bookdragon, I often being asked about which one is better: printed or e-book. At first, I always answer it with, “printed is always the best because you can smell the old paper scent which me makes me comfortable and become addicted. Because you can feel the real paper instead you do the flipping pages on the screen”. At first, I always think that printed is the best and there is no use to have e-book reader. It’s such a waste for me to have e-book reader because I have an issue in controlling myself to buy book(s).

But, I get another answer on this never-ending-which-one-is-better question.

It’s All About What You Need and Which One Suits on You, at the Moment

Since January 2016 I moved to Bekasi. I got mentorship program from one of first class person in Indonesia, Prof. Rhenald Kasali (he is also listed in 30 Global Gurus in Management!). As someone who can not be separated with books, the problem I have to face that time was on how many books I should bring along. My luggage will be so heavy and I expect, I have to pay extra for its overweight. Long story short, with many consideration (I don’t want to make myself trapped in overweight luggage), I only brought 5 books.

In the beginning of my working days, I could read very fast. For example, I could read Magnus Chase (it’s about 400 pages) for only 2 days and of course, my sloppy first was running out.

But hey, I am near enough to Jakarta. I have access to bigger bookstores: Periplus, Kinokuniya, Aksara, Books & Beyond, you name it. I could buy for more and made my books pile higher.

And the next problem was: I have no enough space to keep it. My room in my dorm is only fit for 2 single beds, a dresser, and small cupboard. I have to buy my own container so I can put my clothes in. While I am running out of space, then I think.

Why don’t I buy an e-book reader?

Printed and E-Book Are Completing Each Other Like A Soulmate

I kept looking up the information about e-book reader, compared between brands (Kindle vs Kobo), asked on book clubs I’ve joint in. I really thought, by buying an e-book reader my problem with books and space are solved.

Another reason why I was so obsessed with having e-book reader is because, sometimes I am too lazy to move on from my super comfortable bed and go to Jakarta. Sometimes, I need more or less a month to order import books (because they don’t have any stock left in their warehouse in Indonesia). The closest example is when I was really want to have Morgan Matson’s latest novel, The Unexpected Everything. Periplus already listed it in their catalog so anyone can order through that bookstore. But, then, it takes 10-20 days to process which mean they have to order it from the state. It takes too long.

By having an e-book reader, I still can keep up with my favorite authors. Both Amazon Kindle and Rakuten Kobo have their own market place for me to buy book, legally! Well, don’t tell me about download those free books illegally because I try to appreciate the authors. So, for me, it’s easier to get a copy of a book by having an e-book reader without I have to move out from my dorm.

Do not forget that I can not go out without bringing book. Back in Surabaya, I drive by myself whenever I go. It’s easier for me to bring a book, no matter how thick it is. But in here, I have to go anywhere by public transportation. Bringing thick and large book inside my hand bag is not a wise decision. So, by having e-book reader is like I bring a light tablet contains many books with various thickness.

Don’t I miss the printed one?

Of course! I still love printed books. But, I think, I will only buy printed books if Kobo Store doesn’t have it in their marketplace or the book is written by Indonesian author.

By having e-book reader, I make my room looks better. The piles are being shifted by the amount of e-book files I have in my device.

The point is, whether you still arguing which one is better, you should look at your condition, is it possible for you to keep the books in your room? Is it possible for you to be mobile with 400 pages books in your handbag? And so on, and so on. To have e-book reader, you have to commit that it will help you to keep on reading. Either it’s printed or not, both are our device to connect with other humans.

No. I Choose to Have E-Book Reader than Buy an iPad

For me, all I need for now is an e-book reader. Okay, many friends suggest me to have an iPad since the price is not that far with Kobo/Kindle. But, then again, I look back to my desire to have e-book reader: to read. My friends said,”you can get more than just e-book reader if you buy iPad”. But, no, thanks. I feel my communication device right now (I still using Xiaomi Redmi 2) is enough for me.

The main differences between iPad and Kobo/Kindle is their screen. Kobo/Kindle’s screen is not the same with our communication device. It still needs light if you want to read in the dark which means my eyes won’t get tired. Some testimonials I’ve read said, the e-ink screen on Kobo/Kindle is not that different with real paper in printed books. Our eyes will adjust more comfortable than if we read with iPad.

Anyway, thanks to Ivokun for giving me Kobo Glo HD as my birthday present! I really can not wait to go back to Surabaya this Ied to see my baby!

— June 20, 2016

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