The Paperbook Deprivation Syndrome (PDS)


I’m in Ecuador, and my beloved books are in cardboard boxes, taped and sealed, in a cold and dark storage unit in England. I came here with only a kindle – and a few hundred books.

I do have access to paper books, since I am volunteering at a library, but most of the books are in Spanish and majority of them are for children. Still, it’s enough that I don’t get withdrawal symptoms from a lack of paper book.

I don’t know if there is an official medical name for this condition, but I assure you it exists.

I call it:

The Paperbook Deprivation Syndrome (PDS)

Common symptoms may include: irritation, desperate need to touch paper with printed words, hallucination about one’s existing library, contempt for places that don’t provide access to one’s desired books.

It’s not an easy thing to live with. So here I’m, reading most of the books on Kindle, including the books from the Kaizen Reading Challenge. I’ve highlighted passages in kindle, and even made notes. Now it’s time to write some essays, and all I want is to flip through the pages – back and forth – and scribble the first draft. Instead, I have to either go page by page on Kindle, or just look at my highlights and notes. Either way, it’s not the same. It’s annoying, and that’s why I have been putting off the first essay. 

I love my kindle, because without it, reading while travelling would be much harder with limited options, but I still can’t get over the actual difference of experience between reading an e-book, and having a physical book. 

What about you? What is your view? 

Do you ever suffer from the PDS? 


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3 Responses to “The Paperbook Deprivation Syndrome (PDS)”

  1. Sally November 2, 2013 at 11:47 pm # Reply

    Absolutely!!! My brain works differently when I’m reading/working from digital media than it does from paper, *real* media. One main reason is that I often remember where I read something by how many pages into a book it was, and where on the page it was. With scrolling, any place-identifying features are gone. Tactile memory is also missing with reading/working digitally. Alas, it must be done at least some of the time. 🙂

    Just discovered you via LI, and LOVE your work!

    • Dolly Garland November 3, 2013 at 3:37 am # Reply


      Welcome to Kaizen Reading. Glad to have you here 🙂 and thank you for your lovely comments.

      I agree completely with what you said. There are times when electronic option is simply more practical (i.e. travelling long-term), but yes it is not the same. I love my paper books.


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