E-books Or Paperbacks: What’s Your Pick?


There’s something thrilling about physically turning the page while reading a book. For those who have a devouring reading habit in this techno-world they’ll have to decide between convenience and pleasure. As the age of E-books dawns on us it’s time to wonder about whether we prefer hardcopies or E-books ourselves. Does reading E-books completely change the experience of reading?

E-books are convenient, there’s no denying it. Your books can be carried around in your pockets, quite literally. For a book that may be more than four hundred pages long or so, E-books as an option in terms of portability beats their printed counterparts. Reverting to a personal experience, when I was much younger and the vacations rolled by, the biggest battle I had to fight was trying to fit some twenty books along with my clothes into a single suitcase. E-books resolve that dilemma, and how! They can be stored on a single, sleek device, occupying minimum space.

We always have a fear of losing physical copies to unmitigated factors such as a careless borrower or loss by weathering, but E-books are easily shared and loaned to others. Moreover, ebooks open up meanings of words and can clear the confusion there and then, since locating a dictionary is a task some find rather tedious. E-books are also much cheaper than paperbacks, which makes them more accessible. The font size can be adjusted to make reading easier as well.

These days another popular development is the coming of audio books, hearing our books read out aloud. A lot of people take to these books as they allow for more freedom than E-books. Instead of listening to music one can listen to books! A different kind of reading habit, if you will. While finding printed books might mean jumping from store to store and library to library, finding an E-book takes minutes if not seconds, for, nearly every regular book out there has an E-book copy available.

But there is one thing, finding that one rare copy behind piles of books in a second-hand book store after months of a unyielding search gives you an unexplicable joy that remains undefeated to this day. When we take environment into consideration amidst all this, E-books win hands down. Printing books requires an abundance of paper which demands the loss of trees, while E-books are easily dispensed. When I asked some avid readers, however, some interesting opinions showed up. Those who preferred paperbacks felt that it would mean creating a large collection that could pass down from generation to generation, others of the same category believed that reading an E-book could ruin your eyesight and that we’re glued to our screens too much these days. Those who preferred E-books, mostly students, believed that it allowed them to read more often and that there were no aches or pains after sitting in awkward positions in an effort to keep a particular page open.

I personally love paperbacks, just the feel of them gets me excited, but because I have an enormous appetite for books, I don’t find the space on my shelves to keep these books. Another advantage of E-books, in my opinion, is that I don’t enjoy every single book I read. But I can’t get rid of a paperback to make space for a book that’s much better. But all I need to do is click ‘delete’ when it comes to E-books.

That said, reading from a hard copy is nevertheless a classic tradition that many of us find hard to give up. Running your hands along the spines of books stacked on shelves, opening them up to the glorious smell they carry and then giving them to somebody as a gift with a personal note inside, really gives value to the story and personalizes the gift. Reading for many is a personal experience and while we are undoubtedly entering an era of complete technology take-over, we need to hold onto some of our roots. For, the thought of seeing a book with its faded pages lying open in a museum somewhere with children pressing faces to the glass looking fascinated in the future is scary, isn’t it?

Sahitya Poonacha

Image Source: The Viewspaper