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Ebooks or Paper books: Is There a Right Way to Read?

kindle ebook

Nowadays there are two kinds of people: those who prefer ebooks and those who are still in love with traditional printed media. It is clear that eBooks provide a set of unchallenged benefits to their readers. Yet paper books aren’t going to disappear anytime soon either, as they continue to have millions of fans all over the world. Nevertheless, we are not aiming to tell you what’s better, a book or an ebook. Each of them is able to give you the advantages and possibilities that the other one cannot. On the contrary, we’d like to highlight the benefits of both options.

The Benefits of eBooks

Portable

Ebooks are way more convenient to carry around with you than paper books. Those of us who travel a lot know what it is like to take a bulky hardcover you intend to finish on a trip and to worry if another book will fit into the luggage as well. When it comes to eBooks, they weigh nothing. You can take a hundred of them with you wherever you go on your eBook reader, laptop or smartphone.

Never out of stock

Ebooks are always available as they don’t “go out of print”. Moreover, eBooks give you a chance to find works by indie/self-published authors that sometimes are available only in digital format. Thus, having a reading device and a Wi-Fi signal means having access to thousands of books from all over the world that would otherwise be hard to find.

Cheaper

Let’s start with the fact that you can find an eBook you need online for free. This is almost impossible to imagine with paper books. But even when you purchase an eBook, the price won’t include printing costs, packing and shipping expenses. All that can make an eBook sometimes up to 50% cheaper that its paper counterpart.

There’s no need to wait

When you order a paper book online, you will probably spend quite a time waiting for it to arrive. With eBook there’s no need to wait, as the joy of reading starts straight away.

Suitable for night reading

If you are a fan of reading in the evening before going to sleep, an eBook reader is a win-win variant for you and for all the people that are trying to sleep in the same room, while you are reading. The light that it provides is adjustable. An e-reader gives just enough light for you to see the text well, but it isn’t disturbing for anyone around you.

More environmentally friendly in the long run

This may not seem obvious, but the fact that making an eBook requires no trees to be cut doesn’t make it a 100% eco-friendly option. Actually, manufacturing one digital device for eBook reading has higher environmental impact than printing a paper book. For instance, in the process of making just one Kindle the same amount of CO2 is emitted as in the process of printing 30 books. Still, just one eBook reader can can give you access to thousands of books, articles and manuals. This is an undeniable advantage from an ecological perspective. Nevertheless, manufacturing of both paper books and Ebook readers needs to become more eco-friendly.

The Advantages of Paper Books

However, with all the numerous benefits of eBook, their more traditional paper versions did not cease to exist and fact have been making a comeback. And there are some solid reasons for that.

Book signing

If you bought a copy of your favourite novel and got a chance to have it signed, that won’t work on an eBook, obviously. Might not be a big deal for you, but it actually is for a huge number of readers. Having a signed copy adds not a purely sentimental, but also a tangible monetary value to a piece of writing.

Better potential for visuals

Print books are visual-friendly. Comic books, children’s books and textbooks with a lot of diagrams and pictures will be perceived differently on paper and on a screen. And here we are not talking about the illustrations alone. The variety of fonts in printed books never fail to amaze. They set the tone, as if reflecting the writer’s voice.

The feel of a paper book

The aesthetic and tactile pleasure a paper book gives you cannot be compared to that of any electronic reading device. Not everyone might agree but the smell of a paper book itself is a majestic world of its own. Freshly printed, old library-like smell, textbook with glossy pictures scent, you can create perfume with these notes! What’s more, you feel the weight of the book in your hands. The tactile mark of a progress you make as you turn every new page gives a kind of a psychological satisfaction of a task completed.

Books as gifts

Traditional paper books are great gifts. They are meaningful and lasting. Beautiful covers and the opportunity to scribble some kind words to the person you make this present to create emotional connections. They remind you of the people who gave them. Just extremely sweet and sentimental, don’t you think?

Books for kids

We have already pointed out that printed books are better options when it comes to pictures and illustrations. But that’s not the only reason to opt for a print version for your child. Small kids get better educational results through hands-on learning. For a child, the kinesthetic interaction itself with an object increases the learning outcomes. Your toddler is getting to know the world by touching it. Not even the best e-reader can substitute the tactile experience of traditional books.

And it goes even further, when you are reading a book on your phone or on your laptop, you are setting an example for your child… to spend more time in front of these gadgets! When your kids regularly see you with a printed book in hands, they are more likely to pick up a reading habit from you.

Space at Home: Bookshelves or an E-Reader?

One of the most important issues that eBooks solve is the one of storage. The only physical space they take is the size of your reading device. There is no need for having a library room or installing bulky shelves, maintaining the books and thinking of how to transport them when you are moving.

For some, however, collecting books is a part of lifestyle. Having a substantial library in this case is a goal, not a disappointing side effect. Also, from the point of view of decoration there is nothing that can add more intellectual touch to an interior than books (of course, it’s better when the people living in it read them).

Paper Books and Ebooks for Your Wellbeing

Have you heard that spending too much time in front of a screen is not too good for you? Well, it’s true when you are reading as well. Ebooks read from tablets, phones or PC screens are hard on your eyes. So you can feel more eye-strain than when reading a printed book. E-Readers are trying to solve this problem with the so-called “low light” screens. But paper still wins when it comes to minimizing side-effects from reading too much.

On the other hand, eBooks offer more flexibility, as you can enlarge the size of the font to make it more suitable for you. Less eye strain, as a result.

One more thing to take into account: LED screens are not your friends when it comes to reading before sleep. We all heard that a few pages in bed can help you fall asleep faster. It’s true only for paper books and e-Readers without the backlight. According to a study held by Harvard University, e-Readers with LED screens cause disruption of the sleep pattern. In order to minimize the side effects on your health, make sure to have a proper device for reading or just go for a good old printed book.

Paper Books and Ebooks for Learning

The benefits of eBooks in studying are rooted in their functionality:

  • Searching and saving text is easier than ever before,
  • Highlighting and bookmarking doesn’t damage the book,
  • They can show links for access to more information on a particular topic,
  • Ebooks can include various types of media: video, audio and animated materials.

Yet recent researches show that students learn better from good old paper books than from screens. According to one of the studies, although students eagerly prefer to read learning material digitally and judge their understanding of the material as better when they read from the screen, it turns out that the comprehension of the text is significantly better for printed medium. Another research showed that scrolling has a negative effect on the understanding of learning material when a piece of information is longer than one page.

And the winner is… the one who loves reading

Both eBooks and paper books open the doors to millions of stories and plots for us. It doesn’t matter which method we choose, as long as we choose learning new things and getting in touch with numerous authors’ ideas. Some situations will require a solid printed copy, for some your phone or tablet will do. It’s up to you to decide. So, what are you reading next?

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