It comes with no surprise that even books would come to be affected by digitization. In the ever-expanding network of information, it is only natural that we would bring to this new, digital world all of our hobbies, pleasures, desires and so on. The speed at which we share thoughts and opinions has come to grow to a level that was unimaginable just 50 years ago – an amount of time which, in historical terms, is infinitely small. Naturally, it followed that a debate arose concerning the choice of whether to read on paper or on a screen. We will go over a few arguments for and against owning an e-reader, versus reading ‘traditionally’.
The PROS of having an E-Reader:
- Save some money. It’s no secret that paperback or hardback books are a more expensive hobby. Hundreds of thousands of books have entered the public domain, due to how copyright law functions when it comes to books. This means that a lot of classics and cornerstones of literature are completely free to read & access by anyone! Downloading them to your E-Reader is only a search away. Furthermore, new releases are often much cheaper to get as a digital download in the first few weeks.
- Quality of life. Another evident improvement, an E-Reader is much easier to handle, carry around, and read from. Even the cheapest E-Readers can hold an entire library of a thousand books. If you go on long trips and plan to read, carrying several books with you might not be ideal. Instead, an E-Reader will take up a very small amount of space while allowing you to bring along an enormous amount of reading material. Furthermore, keeping it in your hand and using the device is much more convenient than having a book around, especially if you’re using public transportation or other similar situations.
The PROS of sticking to old-fashioned paper:
- It just feels better. Let’s face it. Even with the amazing advantages of having an electronic device that can hold thousands of works, having an actual book in your hand still feels nicer. The texture of the paper, the smell of the book, the way it makes you feel when you hold it in your hands – all of these are very important aspects for readers. E-Readers simply cannot compare when it comes to delivering an immersive experience.
- Books have personality. A book can be passed on, a data file is a string of ones and zeroes. Books have always had a social aspect to them. People love talking about what they read, and why they like it. It’s in our nature to enjoy the creative works of others. The social aspect is strong when sticking with ‘traditional’ books. You can lend them, make markings with your own handwriting on them, take them from a library, etc. When talking with someone about a book, you can hold it in your hands and show it to them. A tangible experience is much more powerful than the ‘faceless’ aspect of an E-Reader.
There are other reasons for taking into consideration each of these. It often comes down to a matter of practicality versus more enjoyment out of your reading. The middle path is also an option. In fact, most readers aren’t in any of these two extremes. You can accept the practical nature of an E-Reader and buy yourself one for books that are less important to you, and use the money you saved up to buy the books that you absolutely must have!