Counterpoint: E-books are better

Gayathri Sudheer -
Posted on: November 27, 2019

One of the biggest challenges to face print media, in general, is the existence of online content- and that includes eBooks. Books have been thought of as irreplaceable by many, and while that thought holds true, the idea of having a paperback book is not particularly an exciting one to me. Books are all about the stories they share and the best way to communicate them to the largest audience possible. What best way to do that than to use the most common resource of our generation: the internet?

When it comes to convenience, eBooks are far superior to paperback. When it comes to buying the book, an eBook is literally just several clicks away, whereas with paperback, you would either have to wait several days for the book to ship to your place if you are ordering online, or you would have to physically go to the nearest bookstore and hope they even have your book in stock. If you are not a fan of buying books like me (books are fairly expensive), the library also offers eBooks which have become incredibly easy to access over the past few years. With apps like Libby and Overdrive, borrowing books online is just a search away, and you will never have to worry about overdue fees because they get automatically returned as well. Even reserving the book is incredibly easy (and free!) as they get automatically borrowed when the next copy becomes available and you even get notified by email. All of these perks are essentially lost to the print media: you have to physically go to the library (which is far), do a manual search for the book you want, and return the book on time, otherwise you will have to pay penalty fees.

The other benefit of eBooks is their portability. Kindles are small and light devices that can carry hundreds of books so that when you are travelling, instead of carrying several five hundred paged books, all you have to carry is one device with all the books you want at your disposal. If you don’t have a kindle, you can even read on any of your other electronic devices, from your tablet to your laptop and even your phone. With the use of eBooks, you will never have to remember to carry a book with you because your phone will always have it anyway. When you are at a long, boring function with no other entertainment with you (and perhaps the lack of internet), you can just use your phone to read! Or if you want to be inconspicuous during a class, using your laptop to read would be a much better option compared to bringing out a novel.

Not to mention, eBooks also save you a lot of money. Other than the huge benefit of costing significantly less than their counterpart, eBooks essentially last forever – once bought, you will never lose it (unless you willingly delete it). With access to current cloud storage, you are guaranteed to have the book with you forever, without the impending threat of accidental hard drive malfunction. Whereas paper media will age and tear, eBooks will remain in their undamaged state forever. Moreover, you will never have to worry about lending your books to your friends and them misplacing or damaging it either.

Most eBook reading platforms also allow customization for your convenience: from the size, font and even color. This makes reading much easier: you will never have to squint your eyes to read the fine print and you can also access night mode and let it be easier on your eyes during the night. This customization also means you can edit the copies of the books you own. For students, using eBooks for textbooks becomes incredibly useful due to its note-taking capability, without actually permanently marking the book. As someone who extensively uses an iPad for studying, using the apple pencil for writing notes, highlighting and drawing on the textbook have shown to be exceptionally useful in my studying strategies. You can also use the search feature to locate certain keywords or topics in your books.

Last, but not the least, is how eBooks are far more environmentally friendly compared to their print alternative. Considering the massive deforestation caused by producing paper, eBooks become a much more sustainable resource for reading. In this world where climate change is more impending than ever, our role in minimizing the harm to the environment is crucial, even if it’s as small as witching from a paperback to an eBook.

In conclusion, although we might lose the paper feel that many of us enjoy, the benefits of using eBooks as your resource far outweigh the negatives.

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