To e-read or not to e-read…


Tom Gauld’s beautiful illustration “Fall Library” graces the cover of this week’s New Yorker. Interestingly, he reports considering two covers: one in which the reader is holding an e-book and this one with the paper book. In an interview with the New Yorker (here) he said he ultimately decided to go with the paper book: “I think the fact that she’s holding one of her millions of books is what’s nice.”


It’s no surprise that I prefer the chosen cover. It just seems more cozy, and celebrates our continued love affair with the paper book.

The e-reader cover is a sign of the times though, and raises some interesting questions: Has the reader turned her back on her books, preferring the convenience of the e-reader? Is her library doomed, or will paper books and e-books co-exist happily?

Which cover do you prefer?


  1. While I prefer the paper books, I recently moved to an e-reader (which was a gift) for practical purposes. There just isn’t room for more books in my current residence, so I’m having to be veryvery careful about choosing new titles to add to the non-virtual library. I’m thinking that the two formats might come to peaceful co-existence. But I can’t imagine ever giving up the ‘real’ thing. Books are friends.

  2. Oh know me good enough to know my devotion to the printed word: paper books it is! Nothing against e-readers but it just does not do it for me. I need the ‘feel’ of the book, preferably an older copy, yellowed pages, fumbled and even some notes in the margins or..oh glory…and note left on the title page from the giver to the receiver! An e-reader feels cold, a book warm. Does anything of this makes some sense??? Dare I add…a book suits my cup of tea and cozy chair better??;0)

  3. As a cover, the one with the paper book. But for favoured reader, I prefer the e-reader for the sheer convenience. We retain the paper books (quite a lot) that we have but most of our new purchases are the digital versions.

  4. I love my newly acquired e-reader but, if anything, it has made me treasure my paper books even more. I think the cover girl should have had a book in one hand and an e-reader in the other. 😉 Because most of us have become versatile readers.

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