It’s necessary to point out that one cannot but reckon that the popularity of reading is decreasing nowadays as the elderly frequently observe situations when teenagers and young people, as well as modern adults, are stuffed with technological devices and gadgets that weigh up their pockets. According to their stance, carrying a book has become a modern zest that puzzles if noticed. Nevertheless, books (or reading in general) seem to have felt the second breath with the advancement of technological progress and advent of e-books, e-readers, smartphones and tablets. But what is better: paper or electronic textbooks? Let’s consider this issue closer from the perspective of its pros and cons as each medal has both sides as well as this debate proves to be never-ending.
As for paper textbooks, psychological effect on readers still plays its crucial role: touching, feeling, smelling old pages of a book arise nostalgic ideas and bring emotional satisfaction and relief after a long hard and tiring day. Book lovers are eager to collect books on huge shelves just to prolong their feeling that help makes dreams alive in their minds with the help of paper. In contrast, recently books have become quite expensive to purchase and youth prefers to spend money on modern gimmicks rather than pay attention to old-fashioned habits. Moreover, a dozen books can be quite a burden to carry as the weight of a handbag may considerably differ without books at all that influences our physical health either. What is more essential, paper textbooks are easier to spoil while combining this pleasure with more tempting ones like eating and drinking. Plus, there is an expiry date on the quality of the paper in a book.
Whether you’re the kind of person who ponders on the possible setbacks of our fast-growing advancement in technology or you’re the kind who welcomes with open arms any means of making life easier with technology, the rate at which new electronic devices and machines are being produced and improved doesn’t seem likely to come to an end. And more often than not, each new advancement comes with a handful of positive aspects, as well as negative, and e-book is a perfect example. Even though the habit of reading remains the same, it’s the method that has evolved with time. E-books (or electronic books) are beginning to change the way information is created, distributed, and viewed. In e-book stores, you can find pretty much everything that is typically found in print formats including numbered pages, table of contents, pictures, and layout just like any in a print book.
The format of e-textbooks can’t leave us impartial to its excessive usage in the modern world due to the following positive factors:
- Fewer Resources: One of the biggest advantages of e-books is that they are environment-friendly. They require no trees to create them, unlike print, thus saving our planet from a potential environmental crisis.
- Affordability: e-books are comparatively cheaper than paper books. This is because the cost of digitizing materials is less than the cost of publishing them. E-books typically have prices that are 50-60% lower than their print counterparts. Moreover, there are even free electronic books available on the internet through most likely there are illegal copies. In most cases, paper books might not be available in your region leaving you with no choice but to order it online, keeping in mind the costs of handling and shipping.
- Accessibility: Information can be obtained without having to leave your comfort zone. You won’t have to ransack your local library in search of a particular book for research when you could simply search for it in the e-book store with the help of certain keywords or phrases.
- Portability: Unlike paper books and materials, digital books only require one device (Kindle or another type of e-reader) to carry around with you. Due to its portability, you can store hundreds of books in your e-Library and carry it wherever you go.
- Comfortability: e-books are more flexible than paper books. For those who have troubles reading the typical book-sized font, e-readers can enlarge the font size to make reading more pleasurable and easier on the eyes. E-books can contain multi-media elements not available with traditional books (like Kindle e-books, for example). Audio and video can be embedded to make reading a fully immersive experience.
- E-books provide the reader with easier methods to search for certain words or passages. You can highlight, save pages, search for a text using certain keywords while reading or even after.
But with every advantage comes a disadvantage. Although in such a case it might be difficult to imagine what they are, however, they exist. Here are a few drawbacks associated with modern-day electronic books:
- Unreliability: Unlike print, e-readers have an unreliable lifespan, you can’t expect them to last forever. They might just stop working at any moment; it’s a problem that most gadgets tend to have. Paper books, if taken care of properly could last for decades. Additionally, e-readers require battery life in order to be operated, so if you don’t charge it well enough you might just find yourself without anything to read.
- Piracy: Piracy is the number one concern for both publishers and authors. E-Books are more prone to piracy. It’s as easy as 1,2,3 because the books are in their digitized form. Once pirated, the eBooks lose their originality and generate no income to the author. It also loses its authenticity because some pages of the pirated book might be missing.
- Health Problems: Most e-readers come with an LCD screen and studies show that reading for hours from such a screen could lead to certain eye problems. It can affect the vision or may cause eye irritation, making it more difficult to focus while reading. Reading an e-book might also be uncomfortable because the screens of some devices are not visible in the sunlight.
- Competition: It shouldn’t come as a shock that a fair amount of companies have entered the e-book market each with their different gadgets, e-books and their formats. With the wide variety of e-book formats and e-reader devices on the market, choosing which one is most suitable for you might be particularly tedious and confusing. And depending on which device you choose might mean that you won’t be able to share your e-books with friends or close ones.
To sum up, we would like to say that the option of transitioning to e-books may seem appealing, convenient and highly practical, but in the end, it all comes down to personal preferences. Some people would rather enjoy the feel and smell of paper books, while others like to have their books ready at hand and digitized. In such a way it is up to an individual to choose whether to follow the technological progress or support and struggle for the revival of old habits, but from our point of view, each generation will always find its own gadgets that will only make our old habits modernized, improved and innovative. Progress only makes us more intelligent and active in transforming those habits, it’s only a question of individual priorities. Therefore, it depends on you, dear readers, to weigh the options and choose which one is suitable for you. And most likely you will prefer to enjoy the best of both worlds!