10 Reasons Paper Books Are Still Relevant



Always books. Never boring.

This is a guest post by Rah Carter. Rah is a British introvert with perhaps too much time on their hands. They generally try to fill this time by attempting to devour as many books as possible so they can justify buying some more. In between reading these assorted tomes and comic books they might be found blogging, writing first drafts of fantasy novels, or knitting whilst watching Star Trek or Buffy The Vampire Slayer. They are a firm believer in filling life with things they can get excited about, and direct this passion towards a plethora of topics including feminism, philosophy, queer representation, Victorian culture, and Harry Potter. One day they plan to actually finish writing that novel, and to take up beekeeping. Follow them on Twitter @triceratops23.


This is an extremely well worn topic. There are many, often unnecessarily heated, arguments on both sides of any debate over paper vs e-reader books. In fact the debate itself is cry largely unnecessary. And few arguments are ever made that could really be described as convincing. They also tend to miss out some key advantages to the possession of physical objects, some of which can be found here.

1) If you hate your wallpaper, but also hate decorating and painting and such, you can instead cover up said wallpaper with bookshelves to then be filled with books. This might not look so appealing with empty shelves. If you don’t want to actually buy the bookshelves [having spent all of your money on the books] then just stack the books in front of the walls.

2) These stacks of books could be very useful in performing as the various other items of furniture that you haven’t bought. Tables. Chairs. Beds. Why buy anything if you can buy books? Even clothes could be made by tearing out spare pages and sewing them together.

3) Or maybe just build an entire house using books as bricks. This is only recommended if you live somewhere without much rain. Books aren’t always known for being waterproof, or otherwise enduringly weatherproof. Same goes for those clothes actually.

4) Many other structures could be made using books as bricks. Perhaps stack your books in the shape of a Christmas tree, or any other holiday decoration. Some tinsel and fairy lights and it will be almost exactly like a real tree. A tree that has been killed and then tattooed with stories and information.

5) Usually when books are referred to as “weapons” it’s because of the information they contain. This doesn’t mean that they are not also great for throwing or hitting things with. With a single e-reader you quickly run out of such “weapons”.

6) If, in this hypothetical battle, you prefer a more defensive strategy, your book collection could perhaps be stacked against a door as a barricade.

7) These ideas mostly depend on the assumption that the average book is cheaper than the average e-reader. And, as they lack electronics, they are also less prone to damage. Which also lends books to being better for swatting insects. But then a pile of books would probably make a better home for insects than a single e-reader would, so perhaps this isn’t a good argument.

8) If you plan to live without electricity for the rest of your life then books would be a definite advantage. This could also be useful if you find yourself without electricity because of a Zombie Apocalypse type scenario. Which would be another great scenario for testing out those hardback “Complete Works Of Shakespeare” as weapons.

9) If you tear all of the pages out of your books you could probably make a really massive paper chain. I don’t know what use this would have. I just know that this is easier to achieve with books made of paper. This might make the books difficult to read. But your home would look pretty.

10) Having books made of paper is also an advantage if you get cold and need something to burn to keep yourself warm. Again, it’s difficult to read the books after they’ve been burnt. But you probably weren’t going to reread half of those books anyway.