A few weeks ago, on one of those Saturday night excursions to Barnes & Nobles, I purchased a 50% off Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, a recently well reviewed biography by my nonexistent/unofficial book club comprising of several close, book-worm friends. It’s a 608-paged book.

When the Amazon’s Kindle got added to my gadget collections this past weekend, my plan was to return the book, which was only $9.99 to begin with, and purchase the Kindle version, priced at $7.99. The plan was intact during this week, since I didn’t have much time to think about it again, due to the terribleness of the past six days. Until tonight…

Tonight was the scheduled time to return to B&N to execute the plan. Then something happened. Doubts started to arise in my heart whether to actually return the book or not. I even wondered if I should bother going to B&N at all. But I still decided to take the book and the receipt with me, just in case I still wanted to return the book after I completed other errands.

I did end up going to B&N, still undecided. I called my good friend, Amy Sheppard, recent attorney, for counsel: should I return it or not? At the end of that conversation, I was leaning towards not returning the book.

Then I browsed around the store. Then I decided to get some Starbucks’ soy steamer and sit at the café reading from my Kindle, which has been my life companion ever since it came into my possession. I’m currently reading (among other books) Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dillemma, borrowed from the eBook collection of Princeton’s Public Library (hence, the title of this blog post). During this hour or so, I was reminded of the joy and convenience of reading from this new toy. At some point, I decided, yea I’ll return the book. I’ll look over the pictures and photographs attached to the print version, return it, and buy the Kindle version.

Then I pulled out the book, looked over the pictures, and read the introduction. It looks like such a great book to own! From this point on, I was pretty much changing my mind every minute. Do I want to haul this big book around? Not really, but at the same time, I still don’t mind hauling Condi’s even thicker book around right now. The eBook is definitely the practical choice, but owning the print feeds to my vanity as well. To display a good quality, thick book on the shelf, and saying that I’ve read that one – I mean that just feels good. But it’s not just vanity; the book itself looks really nice, with a layout that is friendly to the eyes. Will the Kindle version reflect the niceness of it all? What if I want to go back to certain quotes a lot?

And so I went on debating my own self, back and forth, back and forth.

The verdict: I went home with the print version in my hand. Hah! And you know what? In a few days or weeks I might even succumb to buying the Kindle version as well! Indulgent? Yea, maybe. But hey, I’m a book lover and I just haven’t figured out this print vs. eBook thing quite yet.

The reason that I didn’t return the book was not because I think print wins over eBook necessarily – it’s just that the act of returning a book is too hard to go through! The book was already bought. It was already mine, and it’s irreversible. I just couldn’t let it go.

Hi, my name is Josephine and I’m an obsessive bookworm.

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