The joy of books… and ebooks.

After a long and very enjoyable holiday break spent devouring both ebooks and paper books, I’m coming into 2012 refreshed and well-read. I’m finding demolishing books even easier than normal, as now I can take a stack of them with me wherever I go on my tiny red (well, pink) Sony Ereader.

I’ve had the e-reader for over a month now and I still love it, although I will admit the gloss has come off and I’m now comparing the pro’s and con’s of the two reading formats. While I’m enjoying reading from a screen I don’t see myself giving up on printed books completely.

It’s not all virtual hearts and eflowers. For example, buying ebooks while overseas is often difficult due to DRM issues and taking the ereader out with me on a pool, beach or boat trip is an impossibility due to the combination of water, sand and my own ham-handedness.

That said, the joy of carrying 12 – 12! – books with me in a tiny light package no bigger than a novella is undiminished, as is my partner’s happiness at not being harassed every time I run out of reading material on long plane flights. Thanks to the ease of picking up where I left off without needing to carry a big book, I’m defaulting to catching up on reading instead of picking at my phone while out and about and there is no doubt I am getting a lot more read.

It’s a trade off either way, and I can see uses for both. I don’t see a situation coming soon where I will definitively choose one or the other as I can see too many advantages for both formats. I love my ereader, it’s true, but I’m not giving up on paperbacks just yet. Curling up on shaded deckchair with the latest Marian Keyes, unworried about  sand, splashes or spilling my cocktail, is a holiday luxury that I’m completely unwilling to give up.

While the paper versus e-books debate is long from over, here is a bookish adventure in stop motion film that will make even the most ardent ebook lover admire the paperback format once again. Earlier in the year, a husband and wife team decided to re-organise their bookshelf and – in their own words – it got a bit out of hand, leading to a wonderfully playful video. After making that short film, they decided to take it to the next level and came up with this amazing piece.

Filmed after hours in a Toronto bookstore, this video is the product of over 25 volunteers who spent many nights moving, stacking, and animating the books. Whatever your thoughts on ebooks versus dead tree books, there’s no denying that this is a truly beautiful tribute to books and to the book stores that sell them.

Here’s hoping this year brings plenty of books worthy of this level of devotion to you, whether you are reading on a screen or off the page. Happy new year to you all, and I look forward to sharing my finds and about yours in 2012.

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Sadhbh Warren

Sadhbh Warren is a freelance writer and proud booklover. Her name is pronounced Sive - like five – an Irish name, easier to say than spell! She lives in Sydney, writing travel and humour articles, and is always on the lookout for a great new book.