Deciding Whether Paper Books or Ebooks Are Better

By: RILEY PULT

The nostalgia of a paper book or the convenience of an Ebook? This is a tough choice for many people when deciding what platform to read your next novel on. Different people have different preferences when it comes to books. Ebooks are on the rise and can store a whole library in your back pocket, while on the other hand, paper books allow you to create a physical library that you can enjoy for decades to come. We can weigh out some pros and cons, so you know exactly where to look for your next thriller. 

Ebooks 

Pros:

Ebooks are a digital copy of a book that can be downloaded to the device of your choice. They have been around for some time, but now they are easier than ever to access. With technology on the rise, Ebooks can be read on your iPhone, iPad, or Kindle. This is very appealing to younger audiences who have grown up with the world at their fingertips. “An e-reader has more in common with the electronic devices that young people use all the time, like smartphones or iPads [rather] than a paper book…,” lead author of the study Library & Information Science Research, Åse Kristine Tveit, told CBS News in an email. Many people are reluctant to try out Ebooks because of the stigma that it’s not like reading a “real” book, but they might never know if it is the perfect fit for them. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try an Ebook. You never know, you might just love it!

Cons: 

Electronic books can be easy to get to because they are on a screen. But, sometimes, an Ebook can be damaging to our eyesight. Dr. Margaret K. Merga, reading and education specialist in Australia, told CBS News in an email, “Artificial light exposure from light-emitting e-readers may interfere with users’ ability to sleep, ultimately leading to adverse impacts on health.” Another study was done in 2014 and found that reading an Ebook before bedtime decreased the production of melatonin, a hormone that preps the body for sleep. Ebooks also impaired alertness the following day. If you are someone who reads right before bed, Ebooks might not be for you. It is important to understand the unwanted effects that may come from electronic books.  

Paper Books 

Pros:

Classic paper books have been around since the Tang Dynasty in 700 CE. Many people tend to veer towards paper books when reading. Whether they like the book smell or the physical feeling of the pages, there are many positives for paper books. For example, Anne Mangen, of Norway’s Stavanger University, remarks, “When you read on paper you can sense with your fingers a pile of pages on the left growing, and shrinking on the right. You have the tactile sense of progress… Perhaps this somehow aids the reader, providing more fixity and solidity to the reader’s sense of unfolding and progress of the text, and hence the story.” Something else to think about with books is that they can easily be recycled. Paper books can be passed around from person to person, this is similar to the concept of libraries. With physical copies of books, libraries create free access to books for those who can’t afford to buy new books. The simplicity of paper books may be just what you need instead of a simulated screen. 

Cons: 

Although growing your physical library can be exciting, it comes at a cost. If you enjoy reading quite a bit, you may find that buying hundreds of books can be expensive. This can be a big downside for avid readers because it is more expensive to buy physical books than get an e-reader and online books. Many online books are less expensive than paper books, even if it happens to be the same book. This financial loss could steer you away from buying paper books. 

At the end of the day, deciding whether you want a paper book or an Ebook is up to you. If you choose a tangible or intangible book, it is your choice to make. Personal preferences will decide whether you favor one or the other. 

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