eBooks vs. Print – One Reader’s Experience

I have joined the crowd of readers fascinated by Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series.  On a recent vacation, I was able to take the first book in the series (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) with me as a library-loaned eBook.  I loved the fact that I could have a whole group of books on my Kindle and not have to count their weight in my checked or carry-on baggage for the airline. I loved the fact that my page was automatically saved when I quit reading so I didn’t have to worry about losing my place. I felt really comfortable reading the book on the Kindle Fire and it was nice to have the backlit screen when reading in the dark, certainly less of a disturbance to my husband.  I should also note that turning pages was noiseless on Kindle.

I now have book two of the Millennium series, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, checked out in a hardcover, print format. The first thing I looked at when I started reading was the biographical notation about the author on the fly leaf of the dust cover.  I discovered that the author wrote all three books, then promptly died.  I also learned a few things about his background, which relate to some of the things in the plot.  Reading this information also answered the question I was pondering about whether or not there would be more books from this author.  This information was not included in my digital copy of the first book,  although I am sure I could have looked online and readily found it.  I also paged through the book, quickly peeking ahead at a section to see what was coming. This is not typical behavior for most fiction readers, but many people find it handy to do with non-fiction works.  It is something that is definitely more difficult to do with many eBooks. The best have linked tables of contents and indexes, but not all.

For me, I am not sure if I have a preference overall. It’s a matter of circumstance.  My early ereader experiences have certainly convinced me that I love having one, but I don’t think it can replace print in my life.

— Lori Smith, Part-time Reference Librarian

Note: The BSC Library has the Millennium series in both print and ebook formats.

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