Separation of Work and Play: In Defense of Physical Books


One day last week, I sat on my couch with a manuscript open on my iPad’s Kindle app. I was reading it for my internship and would be expected to report on it, so I was taking notes and actively examining the MS for problem areas. When I finished, I sat back and suddenly realized:

I was all caught up.

My obligations were all met, for the time being. I had free time! Which was perfect, because I had some books on my TBR pile that I have been dying to get to. One of them is an ebook, so I went back to my Kindle library and opened it up. I started to read–

And immediately realized I was still scanning for typos.

I tried again. Nope, I was definitely still in editor-mode. I closed the ebook.

It’s dawned on me that the reason I struggle with reading ebooks for pleasure is that they remind me too much of work. When I read manuscripts (not actively editing them, which I do in Word, but reading to gauge how much work it might need) I do it exclusively through the Kindle app. Unfortunately this means the other, published ebooks in my library look exactly like unpublished manuscripts to me.

I can separate myself from work-mode and enjoy my ebooks when I give myself enough time away from the iPad, but this revelation gave me a deeper understanding of my abiding love for physical books. Physical books are still just leisure reads for me, even when I’m reading them for blog posts, which makes it easy to turn off the critical parts of my brain and just enjoy it. It’s really very freeing and makes me really grateful (even more so than usual) for my local library.

What about you, readers? Do you find it easier to relax with ebooks or physical books?

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4 thoughts on “Separation of Work and Play: In Defense of Physical Books

    1. Yup. I also find physical books better to read right before bed because the blue iPad screen just bores into my eyes and makes it harder to get to sleep.

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