Real Books vs Kindle. What Should You Choose?

Real Books vs Kindle

As readers, we tend to constantly be on the lookout for new ways to enjoy our books. While for some that means buying hardcover books instead of paperback or finding their favorite titles in limited editions, for others it means embracing what today’s technology can do for improving our reading experience. Regardless of the category you fall under, I am sure that buying a Kindle to replace the physical books in your home has crossed your mind at some point. 

The real books vs kindle debate has been going on for ages and we are still far from reaching a definitive conclusion that applies to all readers out there. Both come with their own advantages and disadvantages and have their own appeal. 

Here at Basmo, we are dedicated to exploring every aspect of reading and providing you with accurate data you can use to make your own informed decisions. Our team analyzed the benefits and drawbacks of both Kindle and real books and here is what they found. 

Are Kindle books the same as real books?

No, Kindle books and real books are definitely not the same thing. One thing worth mentioning though is that of all the e-book readers out there, a Kindle is probably going to provide you with a reading experience that is closest to reading actual books. Kindle is an Amazon-powered e-reader that was first launched back in 2007. On top of the fact that it gets you access to the Amazon book library, which is both extremely rich and also very accessible price-wise, it is the reading experience that actually makes Kindle stand out from the rest of the e-readers out there. 

The display was specially designed to not fatigue the eyes and to provide a smooth reading experience that is very similar to reading an actual book. But that is actually where the similarities end. Other than the fact that the Kindle screen resembles the aspect of a book page, reading a real book is quite different from reading an e-book on Kindle.

Is it better to read a book or a kindle?

The Kindle vs real books debate is a lot more complex than you might think. There are a lot of factors at play in deciding what is best for you: Kindle or real books. Deciding what the right choice is for you depends on quite a lot of things, including your personal preference. While we are definitely not going to be able to find the right answer for you as this is something only you can do, what we can help with is providing you with a couple of important things to keep in mind. 

Kindles are in many ways a lot more convenient than real books. They take up very little space in your home, they are easy to travel with, and perhaps most importantly, they can hold thousands of books at once. 

On the other hand, books provide us with a more satisfying reading experience. The smell of a brand-new book, the feeling you get whenever you turn a page, and the sensations you go through whenever you are holding and reading a physical book are things that simply cannot be replaced. 

That being said, as you can see, choosing your favorite between Kindle or books is not going to be easy. You will need to take into account what your reading preferences are, your general lifestyle, how much you travel, and a lot of other factors. 

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What are the advantages of Kindle over physical books?

Let’s take a bit of a closer look at what makes using a Kindle a great alternative to reading physical books. Even though not all readers are going to agree, a Kindle can even better than real books, and this is why.

1. It holds more books

Depending on the Kindle model you are choosing and the storage space available, this device can hold up to 13,000 books at once. While that is obviously a lot more than any of us can handle, it should give you an idea about the technical capabilities of e-readers. A home library with 13,000 books would be a lot more than any of our homes can sustain, and a Kindle gives you the opportunity to access this amazing number of titles on a device you can easily hold with two fingers. 

2. It prevents cluttering

One of the biggest problems we tend to have as readers is managing our home collections. We often end up with book clutters that negatively affect the way we live our lives. While there are many strategies we can apply to keep our bookshelves tidy and neat, nothing beats replacing physical books with a Kindle. That is if you are willing to completely give up on the real books reading experience.

3. It’s easy to carry around

With a weight of a little over 150 grams, a Kindle is actually lighter than most books. If you like reading on holiday or on your commute to and from work, chances are you are going to enjoy having to carry a Kindle around instead of actual books. It is quite easy to carry around, takes up very little space in your bag or backpack, and is a very convenient and chic little device.

4. It provides a similar reading experience

Let’s face it, very few of us still have the time to read and fully enjoy the experience. We rarely sit by the fire and read a book. Nowadays, most of the reading we are doing is for the actual content we are consuming and to enjoy the benefits reading has for our mental and physical health and not for the wholesome experience. 

When it comes to the actual benefits of reading, there is almost no difference between reading on a Kindle vs paperback books. You get the same information, you develop your vocabulary just as well, and you learn just as much. 

What are the advantages of physical books over Kindle?

While using a Kindle does sound pretty great, that is not to say that books should be forgotten. There are certain advantages to reading paper-back or hardcover books as opposed to e-readers. Here are the most relevant reasons why choosing physical books would be good for you. 

1. The unique feeling of holding a book and turning pages is irreplaceable

Nobody knows exactly what it is about holding a book that feels so satisfying, but the undeniable fact is that a Kindle cannot compete with physical books when it comes to sensory stimulation. Turning the pages, holding the book, and enjoying its weight and the sounds it makes help us relax and immerse in the action of the novel in a different way than Kindle books do. 

2. They have that amazing smell

The smell of books is something most bookworms consider themselves addicted to. Bibliosmia is the official name of the old book smell and is a result of the chemical interaction of the elements that make up a book: paper, ink, and adhesive. Over time, as these elements degrade, their volatile compounds start to produce that smell we know and love. With a hint of vanilla, that particular scent can take us back in time and make us relive pleasant memories. 

3. Your retention and comprehension could be better

Studies have shown that comprehension and retention rates are somewhat better when reading texts printed on paper than on e-readers. The brain creates different neuronal connections when reading on-screen than it does when you read printed text. Since our brain is also extremely flexible and capable to adapt to any situation and fill in gaps whenever needed, it is also quite flawed many times.

For example, since using screens is generally associated with different activities than reading by our brains, it is quite difficult for us to read on a screen with the same mindset we have when reading paperback books. While reading books instinctively puts us in “learning mode”, reading on-screen generally has a more entertaining component. 

4. Books never run out of battery

If I were to choose the most important reason why books are better than a Kindle or any other e-reader, this would be it. Books never turn off because you forgot to charge them, they never (or rarely) break, and are always available regardless of where you are or what time it is. 

Having a reading session interrupted because your device’s battery is dead or because it somehow got inexplicably broken is a disastrous experience. Books are never going to let you down.

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Is a Kindle worth it if you like physical books?

Unless you are dead-set on always reading physical books and completely despise the thought of using an e-reader, owning and using a Kindle can be a great idea. Even if you do most of your reading on paperback or hardcover books, you can still use the Kindle from time to time. For example, instead of carrying around your physical books to read on your commute to work, using a Kindle to read whenever you are outside of your home can be a lot easier. 

Also, whenever you are planning a holiday, you are going to be much better off taking your Kindle with you instead of a stack of books to read. Your Kindle can hold thousands of books, so you are going to save quite a lot of space in your luggage with this paper-thin device. 

Another thing to consider is the costs. Physical books are generally more expensive than e-books. If you’re an avid reader and manage to go through a book per week, the costs might start adding up to amounts you’re going to have a hard time affording. Kindle books are considerably cheaper and you might benefit from taking a break from constantly spending high amounts on physical books.

How to use your Kindle with Basmo 

Nothing is actually stopping you from enjoying the best of both worlds. Owning a Kindle and also having a physical book collection is not a crime, regardless of what some fierce bookworms might try to tell you. And adding Basmo to the mix can create a completely satisfying and efficient reading experience.

Here’s why:

Import all your books and highlights from Kindle

One of the great features of Kindle is the ability to highlight and annotate text, but how many times have you forgotten about the highlights you made on your Kindle? The magical thing that we made here at Basmo, is that you can import all your Kindle highlights into the app, for you to revisit later.

Can you see the advantage? You can have all your notes in one place, from both physical and paperback books. With Basmo.

Why would I want to do this?

If there’s any reason you might want to use your highlights in the future. Maybe you’re highlighting a textbook and you want to be able to study key facts. Perhaps you’re writing a blog post and want to quote an author or cite their ideas. Or maybe you just like the way certain passages sound and might want to revisit them someday.

Ohh, you vaguely remember reading a quote in the last few months that you think would be perfect for a project you’re working on. But you can’t quite remember where you heard it? Search your Basmo highlights!

How to use this amazing feature:

With Basmo you can have control over how those highlights are saved, edited, searched, annotated, or shared. Once they are on the app, you can use them however you like. You become the sole owner of the highlights you’ve worked hard to create.

Put them into practice to improve your productivity or health; curate the best ideas or passages to share on social media or a blog. The possibilities are endless.

So what are you waiting for? Start using Basmo!

Final thoughts

If you use Basmo, the real books vs Kindle debate comes to a moot point. Basmo can help you enjoy the best of both worlds and there is nothing stopping you from taking full advantage of all the benefits these two reading styles have to offer.

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