I bump into this question a lot, especially lately. There is this big debate into the social media. People who are more conservative militate over printed books, providing as an argument the health benefit, while the others who are open to the new agree that 21st century comes with some novelty. But what is actually the right thing to do? Well, I will talk in this article about the pros and cons of each type of reading. So here it goes.
First of all, I will start with the pros of eBooks.
- They are practical. You can take a book wherever you go, or more than one, cause the number of book limit is pretty big (you can take as many as you want on your phone/tablet/kindle etc)
- You save a lot of space. No more crowding your books in a bookshelf, no more dust over them, no more worries over where to put your next book.
- An electronic device is most of the times easier than a book
- In a kindle device you can find the meaning of a word just by clicking on it, so you don’t have to waste time and energy with searching the dictionary.
- Sometimes eBooks are cheaper than printed books, cause you only pay the work for editing, you don’t pay the paper, the ink, the binding.
- It is easier to lend the book to a friend. You can just email it and the job is done.
- In case you forgot a passage in the book, you can just press CTRL+F and find what you need. No longer browsing page by page hoping that by some kind of miracle you will find the information you forgot.
About the cons of eBooks? Well, I can’t find much. Maybe the fact that when reading on a device that is not Kindle you might have problems with your eyes. And maybe that when you find free pdf files you have to make sure you do not perform some copyright infringements or something. This legal stuff has become more and more strict, especially since GDPR started being applied. Of course battery is an important factor you should take into account. If you run out of battery than it is goodbye reading.
Now let’s talk about the advantages of a printed book.
- Definitely much healthier for your eyes
- The pleasure of smelling the ink of the freshly printed pages
- You can browse easier to the table of contents than in the eBook version (or at least that is my oppinion)
- You can nicely decorate your house with a stylish bookshelf, as long as you dont’t have thousands of books.
- No battery needed. You only have your book and you can start enjoying.
Disadvantages? Well first of all space, dust, practicability, durability. Then the lighting. You need light to read a printed book, unlike a reading device that offers the light you need.
Now these are my views over this. Now let’s see what research tells us.
According to mentalfloss.com, reading printed books has the following advantages:
- You absorb more information
- Children can become better readers with printed books
- They’re easier on the eyes
- You’re less likely to be distracted
- They can help you sleep better
- Having a library at home is linked with a higher academic achievement
- They amplify the joy of reading
I haven’t been able to find a source for eBooks advantages, at least not one that I could trust, so I will resume to the above.
Now it is obvious that eBooks are clearly the leader, but this doesn’t mean that everybody should like them. It is only a matter of taste. I honestly prefer printed books, but I myself am pretty old school so I am not the best indicator (or am I?).
Taking into account the evolution of technology, I expect that in the close future printed books will dissapear forever in favor of technology, but also the environment, for woods are sacrificed in order to assemble them.
Also, I think the generation born in the 3rd millenium/21st century will start finding much easier to read/learn from electronic devices, as they will be educated in this direction. Books in schools will be electronic, notebooks will be electronic, so there won’t be much paper for getting used to it. I always amuse myself into the idea that at some point there will be some old books museums, these ones being the only places where we will be able to see printed books. Honestly it is not my deepest desire, but evolution speaks it’s word.
So, what’s your favorite type of reading?
Image source: nghscrimsontimes.com
©Picnic on the Shelf, June 21, 2019