Books vs. iBooks

There used to be one way to read books: buy them at a bookstore and, well, read them. With today’s technology, however, with a couple taps on our iPad (or other device), we can buy and begin to read a book right on the device. So which is better, buying and reading an actual physical book, or downloading it from iBooks and reading it on your iPad? The answer is mainly based on personal preference, but I will lay down a couple facts here that might help you decide.


Books have value in that they can be resold if needed, and they can also become collector items. They can be easily and simply read and reread, and put on a shelf when you are done. The only inconvenient thing about books is buying them. Unless you have a bookstore close to your house, driving all the way to a bookstore to buy a book can be a pain. However, once this task is done, you are free to read for as long as you want without having to plug your book into a charger.


iBooks are more feature filled than normal books, with the options to search through your books and display them in multiple ways. Buying them is more convenient, except for the fact that you have to use your credit card. Otherwise, you would have to go to the store and buy an iTunes gift card, which would make buying an iBook as inconvenient as buying a normal one. iBooks are more portable than normal books and can be read in just about all the same environments as normal books (neither can get wet). Also, iBooks can be read in the dark. However, reading an iBook uses up much of the iPad’s battery, as well as taking up memory space.

So, which one is better for you? Well, if you are a homebody, and you love apps, music, photos and videos and have used up much of your iPad’s memory, then iBooks might not be the wisest choice. However, if you are on the go a lot, and want a single place to put your books, iBooks is for you. It all comes down to the circumstances.

So which do you like better, books or iBooks? Comment and take the poll! Keep on apping and reading, and if you choose to use iBooks, you will be doing both at the same time!


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  1. #1 by xbrandonbelangerx on July 16, 2011 - 9:47 AM

    At the same time you could get an e-reader if battery life is an issue. I believe the latest Kindle has approximately a month of battery time on an 8 hour charge.

    A major thing about books is also the ability to trade them around. My mom, grandma and their friends all love to trade books around and read them, which they cannot do with e-books/ibooks. I suppose of course if they all had e-readers, but even then I don’t know if you can trade around purchased e-books.

    • #2 by AppAndrew on July 16, 2011 - 12:04 PM

      Those are both really good points! Although I doubt anyone with an iPad would want to buy another tablet just for books. But the battery life would definitely be a good thing. And as far as sharing books, I didn’t even think about that! Thanks for the pointers! 🙂

  2. #3 by GadgetStop321 on July 18, 2011 - 5:30 AM

    I love the convenience of purchasing iBooks (or any ebook) from my iPad or phone, because I live 45 minutes from the nearest book store. My sister called me one day to tell me about an interview she had seen with one of our favorite authors, and that he had a new book out. I reached to the coffee table for the Kindle 2 that I was using at the time, checked the Kindle Store and found the newly released book for $9.99 (it would have been around $30 at Barnes & Noble). I downloaded the free sample, determined it was a book I wanted to read, bought it on my Kindle, and read it, all before my sister had a chance to go to the book store.

    • #4 by AppAndrew on July 18, 2011 - 4:43 PM

      Yeah, the convenience is a big issue, especially when one is as far away from bookstores as you! That’s far! And I’m surprised at the drastic price difference between them. It doesn’t seem like that would be a normal occurrence, but I’m not sure. And if it is, we can expect bookstores to go out of business pretty soon! Thanks for the comment!

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