Are books better than the internet?

I started watching The Crown last night. The Netflix original TV series is set in England in 1947 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. In one scene Princess Elizabeth (Claire Fox) rushes into the study to answer the phone. My breath caught as I admired the floor to ceiling wall of books.

Books have always intrigued me. As a child, I could escape to far away places where anything was possible. Now, I love watching blank paper transform into worlds birthed from my imagination.

I doubt I will ever have a wall of books because my Kindle Paperwhite can hold an entire library of books – 6000 books to be exact. While I love that, I miss the sensation of walking into the wonder and possibilities a room full of books of different sizes, shapes and smells each book.

The last few months I have felt a shift in the way I consume information. In 2016 I set a goal of reading 36 books. I ended the year reading a total of 45 books, a variety of fiction, non-fiction and books on learning the craft of writing. I spent so much of my free time committed to reading, I didn’t have time to keep up on the news or other online articles.

This year I struggled with how to strike a balance between books and the Internet. News, blogs and social media contain real time information -some things are better suited for digital formats. Rather than a set number of books I want to read this year, I set a goal of spending a half hour a day reading a variety of news articles and blogs that interest me, and a half hour a day reading a book.

How I’m reading on the Internet:

  • Skimm The byline is “Making it easier for you to be smarter”. This website sends you an email on weekdays with the hot news topics. It’s free to subscribe.
  • Flipboard has recently had some big updates. My favorite feature is being able to select which blogs you want to follow in a Smart Magazine.
  • Twitter I haven’t given Twitter much thought before, but it is becoming one of my favorite sources of information from President Trump to entrepreneurs who I can learn from because they are further ahead than I am.

How I’m reading Books:

  • 2017 Book List These are books I plan to read this year.
  • GoodreadsYou can check out all my books, what I have read and want to read

Technology is still a love/hate thing with me. The information from these sources is up to date and relevant. It is easy to access and consume. But, it doesn’t hold the rich smells that the crinkled pages of a book do as the book holds all the stories of those who have read it before me. As I touch books part of its soul seeps into me and I into it. Books are like real, live human friends. Consuming media on a sterile device is like having a conversation with someone over text or Facebook. It’s just not the same as sitting in Panera with a warm drink.

For me, both books and the Internet have a place in my life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you enjoy books or do would you prefer reading information on a device?


  1. Books! Always books! Partly because my ipad is too bright and keeps me awake, and I like reading in bed, and partly because I like to hold them and fold them and generally leave my mark upon them. I like having them nearby. I mean, what if there was a world-wide cyber takeover and we lost everything in the clouds and on drives, etc.? I’m not sure if that’s even possible, but I do like the idea of having a few paper books around in case the power goes out for an indefinite time… of course I don’t have other provisions, just books! 😉

    • No worries about food and water – as long as we have books we will die happy! 😉 If there was a world-wide cyber takeover I don’t know what I’d do. The power was out for a few hours last week and it was the connection to the internet that halted my day – not the lights or heat.

  2. Mary Ann

    I do a lot of reading on my kindle, and I do read news/social media and enjoy it very much. Still, there is nothing like the smell of the library, especially the main branch of the Cleveland Public Library. Holding a book is peaceful too. Maybe it’s that I am holding the one special book I chose out of all the options.

    • I haven’t been to the main branch in years – sounds like a fun field trip! I like the idea of choosing the one special book out of all the options. I just don’t get the same feeling when I chose a kindle book from my lists of books. Maybe someone will find a way to marry the digital convenience with the emotional bond paper brings.

  3. Heather M. Gardner

    Whatever is available at the time, I’ll use it. Great post!

    Your link works perfectly!
    Co-Host, 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

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