You see, my reading range has lately been narrowed down to classics. About ten years ago I still maintained not less than three book blogs (what I was thinking back then?!): one for classics, one for hisfics, and the other for popular genres. Years later, I abandoned my popular genre one, and focused more on the classics (this blog), and the hisfic one. But in the last five years I've been more and more attracted to classics - and so now I focus mostly on Fanda Classiclit. This year, for instance, all of my read books are classics.
Even my book shelves are nowadays dominated by classics; the non-classics area has been largely invaded by the classics (sorry, NC guys!). I now see my future self as a classics reader, who at times would pick non classics if they interest me. I think this preference has helped me to settle my personal debate on physical copy vs ebook once for all:
= I feel more connected to a story when reading it from physical book. It's like the sentences become alive - something I rarely feel with ebooks. Do you feel it too?
= I can freely annotate, highlight, underline, or dog-ear physical copy whenever I find something interesting, touching, or important. It's like when you exclaim: hear, hear! to something that really excites or defines you while listening to a speech, like: That's It! Well, you can still tap highlight in your e-reader and bookmark a page, but somehow it feels different. It's like you're reading a speech from newspaper, instead of listening to the live version.
I love to write in my book. My copy of Moby Dick, for instance, is full of penciled annotations (words I don't understand or subjects I'd like to google later on). And I also write summary below each chapter-end, because I'd soon forget what it's about after months later (and Moby Dick is a book you won't read in just a week or two, right?). These things, you can't do with ebooks. I read somewhere that handwriting is very different to typing, it's a multisensory activity that makes you understand and memorize better. Do you think so? However, I don't make annotation as a must. I write down on my book whenever I need to express or emphasize something. It can be just in once in a page, but sometimes all over the pages. :))
= Physical book promotes slow reading, better digesting, and deeper reflecting on a book, much better (for me, at least) compared to ebook. I tend to read fast with ebook. That's why I love reading mysteries or thrillers in ebooks, but for classics... it doesn't work as good as physical book.
= I often hear readers saying how they love the smell of a book... Well, I'm not that kind of reader. I'm also allergic to dust mites and molds, which can often be found in old books. No, I prefer new books really, and I never pay much attention to the fresh ink smell, or whatever, either. However, I love colors and paintings on physical books covers, something I can cherish as my own. I love my books, the substance as well as the contents. I don't feel the same with ebooks. And that's why I keep forgeting books that I keep in my Playbooks library - I feel that they don't really belong to me. Does that make sense?
= It's not fair to not mentioning positive points of ebook. Well, I like ebooks for the cheaper prices (even free for classics), space saving, and adjustable font sizes. Google Playbooks, on particular, giving samples for each ebooks. It's very helpful when I can't make my mind whether to like a book or not. I can always download the sample and browse a chapter or two. It's especially useful to get cheaper price for shorter or less famous books.
So that's it, it's settled now, I will focus more on paperbacks! What about you? Do you prefer reading classics from physical or ebook? Or both?