Books vs. eBooks

Ah books, my constant companion. Since before the days of the written word, storytelling has been an integral part of people’s life and culture. What began with oral tradition quickly became writing for future generations. People wrote about everything on every sort of material. Books were the most recent and most prevalent form of the written word. In the dawn of new technology, advancements have been made in every part of our lives. Phones are not only in our pockets but with the capabilities of a computer; mp3 players which are typically the size of an average credit card contain thousands of songs, pictures, and videos and usually occupy the other pocket. Along with all this came the eReader, which is typically the size of a thin novel. Here are both good and bad things about each type of book.

Books: why paper bound books are better.

I would miss holding a book and feeling the pages. Sometimes staring at screens for long periods of time can cause headaches. The sense of nostalgia from reading an old book from the past – most bookworms learned to read from books, and they have fond memories of them from their childhood. Unlike eReaders, if books get wet, the pages are warped, but are not completely destroyed. Damage is not that big of a deal in comparison to something that costs over 100 dollars, plus the purchase of publications. I would miss the smell of old and new books. Libraries would cease to exist as we know them. Books can be easily borrowed from and lent to others. They can also be sold and returned. Books are collectible and can be signed by the author (if they are alive); not so for eBooks. Speaking of authors, what about book signings? How else would you meet your favorite authors, except for stalking? Old dusty books in second-hand shops could become a magical world where you enter and have fantastic adventures (I can’t be the only person that hoped for this every time I opened an old heavy book). Children would miss the thrill of reading under the covers with a flashlight when they are supposed to be asleep. These books don’t need to be charged. They don’t need Wi-Fi. You can read them on a desert island if need be. You can also write notes in the margins. Not all books are available in electronic form.

eBooks: why eReaders are better (based on Amazon Kindle Fire)

They are more environmentally sound, as they don’t waste paper or produce chemicals due to printing. New publications tend to be cheaper in this form and new authors can be published more easily. It is all instant; you can buy eBooks the second they are available and read them right then. There is a wide selection of books to choose from. They can store hundreds, of not thousands of books. If your eReader has web-browsing capabilities, you can also read more than books. You can also surf the internet and watch videos. No lights are required for reading, you can read at night without disturbing family, significant others, or roommates. They aren’t dusty or moldy and are allergy friendly (as a person with a dust and mold allergy this is crucial). At least on, many out of copyright classics are available for free. Certain textbooks are available to buy or rent, meaning students don’t have to lug around a bunch of heavy books all across campus. You can also look up the definition of a word just by tapping on it. You can highlight words and phrases and also erase them with ease. Even if you lose power, your place in the book is saved, meaning no book tents, scraps of paper, or dog-eared pages.

So which form do I love more? Both types have positive and negative aspects. Books have been around for a very long time. eBooks are still a new technology that is improving every day. I own a Kindle Fire (the first one) and I love it. I have over fifty books on it, including textbooks, as well as newspapers, websites, and blogs (including this one of course). I also own hundreds of books, which are in towers and in shelves all over my house. I have old books and new books. Some are out of publication and have no hope to be eBooks and a few have been signed by my favorite authors. They are all beautiful worn things that I still sigh over as I read them. I love the way they smell, I love the sound of a page turning, the sturdy feel of a hardback cover, and the smoothness of a brand new paperback. I love quiet libraries with their hundreds of colorful books in every subject imaginable.

However, most of all, what I love are what books contain. Whether it’s on a screen or on the printed page, I love a good story. Books are like a comfortable old love that I’ve been in a relationship with for ages, while eBooks are like an exciting new love that doesn’t appear to be leaving anytime soon. They both have their place in my heart.

What do you love about books and/or eBooks? What don’t you like? Does the paper bound book still have a fighting chance for survival? Should it even try? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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About futurefan

“Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures...thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”