- Books, Literature, and Writing
Printed Books vs eBooks: Which Side Are You On?
I want you to close your eyes and pretend for a moment that your best friend has just purchased a book for you. You have been patiently waiting for its release for almost a year and are excited to read it. When your friend finally arrives with the new book, you notice they have two boxes with them. You are informed that one box contains a printed copy of the book and the other box contains an eBook reader with your new book already installed on it. The catch is that you can only choose one or the other.
Which one would you choose?
Many people say to go for the eBook, as technology is becoming more advanced and helps us by making our lives easier. Others inform you to stick to traditionally printed media, and to not conform to buying electronic books, no matter what anyone says.
Are you still confused as to which box you will take? Well, what we can do is look at a few positive and negative aspects of both types of books and decide for ourselves which media best suits our lifestyle.
We will first have a look at some of the advantages that traditional media has over electronic media.
Printed Books Last Forever
In the distant future, printed books may be a rare occurrence amongst the world. Also, many printed books that have been popular over the years, have an almost certain chance of becoming extremely rare and potentially valuable items in the future. Imagine yourself years and years into the future showing your friends and grandchildren your copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. This publication has been out of print for decades, but yet you can still sit down on a stormy night and enjoy it just as you did years ago. The dog-eared pages happily greet you and that stain from the day you accidentally dyed a few pages red thanks to a spilled juice incident still looks as vibrant as ever.
E-Book readers will not last forever. Eventually, they will have to be replaced and you will be without your precious library until you receive another. Imagine your reader crashing during an exciting scene in your new book? When treated with love and care, printed books can last years, even decades and do not require any replacing.
Printed Books Can Survive Through A Bit More Damage
Printed books and eBook readers are both destructible. However, printed books tend to fair better when subjected to certain forms of damage over their electronic rivals. For example, water will ultimately kill your Kindle, Nook, or whatever it is that you use. This means that soaking in a warm bath will your reader runs a risk of becoming a catastrophic event. There have been many times where I have accidentally dropped the book I was reading into my bathwater. I simply took it out, opened it up to the middle section, and left it out to dry for a few hours. The only damage received was that the pages became a bit wavy, but overall the book will still legible.
Dropping an electronic reader can result in either a mild form of damage such as a slight scratch on the interface or, in the worst case scenario, an extreme level of damage such as a cracked screen. Printed books would probably be a better alternative for those ( like me ), who are constantly dropping or knocking things over.
Books Are Better For Referencing
If you are planning on using an eBook on the Kindle to research information on a project, you're in for a tough ride. Kindles do not use page numbers in their books. Instead, they use 'markers' and percentages to let you know where you are in the book.
So, let's say your instructor or friend informs you that the information you need is on page 132. Finding this page with a printed book is as easy as telling someone your name. However, finding page 132 on a Kindle can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. You will have to flip through countless screens of print, sometimes missing the information entirely and going too far. Once you find the page, you'll now have to record the location ( and sometimes the percentage as well ) and keep it close by, or else risk having to search through a good bit of the book all over again. For referencing, save yourself the headache and just use traditional books.
The Experience Of Owning A Printed Book
There is no greater feeling than holding an actual book in your hands. You can feel the glossy cover than engulfs the book, run your fingers over the texture of the paper, smell the delightful scent of both old and new books, and enjoy flipping back and forth throughout the pages. Truly experiencing a book is one of the best things about printed media and also one of the most popular reasons why many people still prefer the traditional way of reading. All of these senses are useless with eBooks as it tends to be the same blasé experience with each book you read.
We will now have a look at some of the advantages electronic media has over printed media.
Books Are Readily Available
Let's say you are at home and you see a review on television regarding the latest book written by your favourite author. You did not know this book was even on shelves and you simply must have it now! Instead of jumping into your car, or having to walk to your local book store hoping that the title has not sold out already, you simply pull out your Kindle, download it from the Kindle Store, and have the entire book in your palms within minutes!
Having books readily available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is a huge advantage for any book lover. My local book store is pretty far away from my house ( I have to walk a few minutes and then get on a bus ), and sometimes the trip was a waste of time as the book has either been sold out, or has not arrived yet. I remember being in University, and having our teacher inform us that we need to personally purchase a copy of a book. Students ran out to the closest book stores snatching up every copy thus making purchasing the book a huge disadvantage for others. Having a Kindle eliminates this problem altogether. E-Books can never sell out and are available to download on the same day as the books release, no matter where you are in the world. Another advantage is that you can pre-order books and wake up to your book automatically delivered to your Kindle, and immediately start your reading experience.
Once printed books are published, their font style and size will stay the same forever. In some occurrence, the font size may be too small or words are not spaced out enough which makes sentences look like one big word, such as superfragilisticexpialidocious. It's an overall nuisance to the eyes and can even completely ruin the reading experience. One of the advantages of the Kindle is that you can change the font size, font family and even the line spacing to suit your personal needs. It gives you a sense of control over the book as you are presented with a few options that allow you to customize your book the way you want to.
Kindles Are Lightweight
Many books can be hundreds, if not thousands of pages long. These books can be a real hassle to drag along with you when you are travelling, especially on aeroplanes or even short trips to your local beach due to their weight and overall bulk. Another issue with large books is when you are towards the end of one and have to bring along another. You may feel as though you need to carry along a separate backpack or suitcase just for your books! E-Book readers eliminate this issue completely.
Kindles, whose average weight is about the same as a can of soup, can be stored quickly and easily within carrying bags. You will no longer have to worry about how much space and weight your bag can handle. Those extremely large paperback books can now fit comfortably in the palm of your hand.
eBooks Are Cheaper
In the long run, titles that are available on Kindles and other eBook readers are generally cheaper to purchase because you no longer have to pay for a printing fee. In reference to Amazon's U.S. website, and a few bookstores ( such as Barnes and Noble and Waterstones ), paperback books would generally cost you an average of $3 - $6 more than the electronic version. EBooks are also eco-friendly and can be a first-choice option for bookworms who are attempting to go green.
Of course, the list of pro's and con's regarding eBooks and printed books is much more vast than the one presented above, however, the only one who truly knows which one is best for you, is you! So, which form of media do you guys prefer? Traditional or modern?