When books are lined up on shelves in an orderly static manner, we hardly ever realize that they are the gates to an unknown city or a treasure chest of an unknown world ready to be explored and discovered. Only a book lover knows the joy of avid reading. Books provide food for thought.
As the world evolved, so did the reading habits of people. Books are no more only the paper books we were aware of. They are now available in our smartphones, Kindle and Mac books too. As has always been a case with all kinds of inventions and innovations, there has been a debate about pros and cons of paper books and the latest e books.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. Hence, despite the age old tradition of reading books, e-books came onto the scene and have proved to be a massive hit with the readers. This goes to prove that there were aspects of reading books that required changes. Around 2010s, the e books became a big hit and started taking over the sale of hardcover books.
An electronic book, known as an e-book or e-book is a publication in digital form or online study site, consisting of text and images readable on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones.
Many devices like the smartphones and other handheld mobile devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Blackberry, Android, Kindle and Kindle Fire are used to get access to online collection of books. E books can be read through Tablet computers such as iPad and Xoom via applications. With e-books, users can browse through online and when they select and order titles, the e-books can be sent to them online or alternatively the user can download the e book.
ADVANTAGES OF E BOOKS:
An amazing feature of e-books is its storage. Thousands of e-books can be stored in a device limited only by its memory capacity. They are completely portable. On the other hand, paper books are often bulky. Being heavy, they cannot be taken along everywhere. They take up space.
Paper books are vulnerable to elements of Nature like fire, water, damage, mold and wind thereby making it difficult to read them anywhere or everywhere. E-books, interestingly, are free from these loopholes. While waiting for a doctor’s appointment or standing in a queue we can easily continue with our book reading.
Real books cannot be read in the dark making it necessary to arrange for light from outside. An e-book may be readable in low light or even in total darkness, depending on the device. The electronic devices like smartphones and Tablet computers have an in built light system, making it easy to work or read without causing trouble to anyone sleeping in the room.
We often feel the need to adjust the font size of paper books knowing well that it cannot be changed. In computer devices vision can be adjusted according to one’s needs, enlarging it according to desire.
Interestingly, e readers have the facility to look up for words or find more information about the topic using the handy online dictionary.
A study by Amazon reveals that 85%of its readers look up for a word while going through the online books.
It is much easier to understand the different aspects with the help of online audios and videos about the topic. This makes retention and comprehension easier.
With e books, we have electronic bookmarks to make references easy.
E-readers have the advantage of using text- to- speech software for getting the text read aloud thereby making it possible for visually impaired, elderly or dyslexic people to read online books easily.
Self-publishing e books are comparatively easier. Independent authors are able to publish their work easily as compared to hard cover publication.
Other important reasons for the popularity of e-books are perhaps their lower prices making them more affordable to the reader. Also, it somehow involves increased comfort as they can be purchased online without the need of visiting a book store. E-books are an instant download so no waiting is required to get the book from Amazon. Also, the wide range of e-books gives the reader enough range to choose from. Added to it is the fact that they do not go out of stock. Moreover, huge number of books are available online free of charge on different sites. Interestingly, all books published before 1923 in the United States are in the public domain and are available to readers for free.
ADVANTAGES OF PAPAR BOOKS:
A book is a treasure that can be held between our two hands, flipping through the pages as has been done ever since. It is tangible and real. For a reader it is a pleasure to hold the book and get the feel of the world about to be explored. It is unlike an e book that is intangible and does not give the real feel.
It is healthier to read a book in your hands than straining the eyes on screen. The eyesight is adversely affected by the continuous light of the screen as has been proved by a number of studies. Hence, books are always a healthier version as compared to e books.
We do not require batteries or power to read a real book. It needs no charging or electricity. Even when there is no power our books will be safe in our hands. On the other hand, e books always need power and the chances of losing it are always higher.
Reading books have always been a sure shot way of improving intellect and enriching vocabulary and pronunciation. It is easy to find out grammatical or language mistakes on pages rather than on screen.
Books somehow lead to higher retention capacity. One tends to retain and remember and recall what has been written on pages. Computer reading somehow may not be that effective as far as learning and retention is concerned.
Coming to health benefits, books do not alter our sleep pattern thereby proving to be safe for our health.
Greater quality checks can be applied on publications of books.
Paper books are often more aesthetically designed. When a book is published on paper, it gets a beautiful cover, good quality paper and well thought of page size.
Print books are considered valuable cultural items and symbols of liberal education that are cherishable for their texture and appearance. Online books are useless for people who have an intense lifelong love affair with books that can be touched, books that we can smell and depend on.
DISDVNTAGES OF BOOKS:
Printed books use much three times more raw materials and 78 times more water to get published as compared to e books.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of paper books is that it needs cutting trees, making books hazardous for the environment. E books are environment friendly.
DISADVANTAGES OF ONLINE READING:
Online readers lack privacy for their reading activities. Amazon definitely knows the user’s identity, the material that is being read by a person, which page the reader is on, how much time the reader has spent on a certain page and the passages that the reader may have highlighted.
E-books files have the threat of getting corrupted, deleted and pirated or just getting lost anytime.
It is often seen that the quality of work gets compromised in online reading material.
They are said to be a hindrance to the cognitive skills of children.
Online reading is susceptible to problems with the internet and electricity.
Though online reading cannot replicate the pleasure of browsing through a bookstore or a library there is an ever growing steady and significant market for e books. All major publishers are into e book business. Kindle is experiencing a double digit growth rate. The tech savvy reader today finds e books easy to handle anytime, anywhere and in every situation.