Physical books and electronic readers, both are trying to dominate one another in the reading world. Readers often debate about the clash between these two. Some say that the printed books will never go out of fashion, but according to some others, e-books are the future of reading.
Have E-books changed our attitude towards printed books?
Most of us love books and those who don’t have to go through them while they earn their degrees. One can never forget the smell of new books in the early stages of life. Two decades back, the world saw something called an e-reader that challenged printed books having a history of more than 500 years. An e-reader like Kindle paper white looks good, but can we do everything or anything that we are habitual of, since childhood? You cannot use a flap or cannot check how far you have come and how far still to go. You cannot give it to a friend or post it through your neighbor’s window. Above all, physical books allow the readers to recollect their memories.
Contrarily, there are people who believe that electronic readers and other counterparts are the ones that will be major methods of reading in the digital era. One of the top reasons, buying books on an e-reader is super easy. Still, according to Publishing Association, the sales figures of miniature book city have gone down by 17 percent while sales went up for printed books by 8 percent. Why physical books are winning?
Before we make any judgment, let us have a look at the positives and negatives of both physical books and electronic readers.
The positive point of physical books
a. Turning the pages of a printed book gives you a feeling that you are actually “reading” something. This is what we used to do, right? We don’t want any changes.
b. Aroma of a book, (especially if it’s newly printed) reminds us of libraries, schools and bookstores. The scent even comforts most of the readers.
c. Physical books are real; you can touch and feel them. You can make a collection of the books you like; it can be an assemblage of romantic novels, horror stories or any genre you like.
Negative points of physical books
a. The physical book has a weight that you have to carry while traveling.
b. Bookstore owner cannot guarantee the availability of certain books, especially if it is a new release.
c. Books have a high price tag considering the cost involved in printing.
Positive points of an e-reader
a. Electronic readers like Kindle paper white mostly weighs between 6 to 13 ounce (170 to 350 grams). You can carry a number of books in the same weight.
b. Convenience is the key because you do not have to visit a bookstore or weight for the shipment to arrive, if you decide to read any of the available books. As long as you are connected to a network, you can read any of the books right away.
c. Newly released books are usually cheaper on e-books as compared to the traditional form.
d. Many classics are free on electronic readers. Some of them are even not at all available in the printed format.
d. If you are using public transport, reading an e-book on a train, tram or bus is easier as compared to printed books where you have to use one hand to hold the book and another to turn the page. You can read an e-book conveniently while doing other stuff as well. Example, while eating. Makes sense?
e. An e-reader gives you a privacy of what are you reading as it has no headings or author’s name.
Negative points of an e-reader
a. There is nothing known as used e-book. If you are always buying second-hand books to satisfy your “reader” then you will be paying some hefty amount for certain titles.
b. Lending book from electronic readers is not possible. Even, if it may be, does not give the same feeling as of traditional books.
c. It is really difficult to read ahead on e-readers, you just to follow the schedule. If you are a reader that has a tendency to read 20 pages ahead just to know what happens next, you cannot bear a Kindle.
d. You have to be careful while reading on e-readers, especially if you are in the washroom. Just saying.. We have seen individuals who prefer to read in the washrooms.
e. You have to be sensible to understand, but books are a lot more “books” to us. Holding the book, turning the pages has something attached to it, which feels right. Taking a book and reading it before you sleep gives a comfortable feeling. If you are keeping them in your personal bookstore, then someday on a rainy evening it can remind you of a lot many good memories. Kindle is always a good addition in the shelf but it will not bond with you over a friendly dinner. They are just “devices”.
Let us talk about the most famous e-reader, Kindle. When it was launched around a decade ago, it looked miraculous as you can carry hundreds of books in a plastic-made device. But now, with smartphones and tablets already doing the needful, any e-reader looks predated because the reading experience it used to provide has progressed in a slow manner. Now, it looks unhip and clunky.
Everyone wants to own a trendy and stylish device, but no one will read a fiction on their smartphone or tablet. A reader still looks to hold for second and turn the page as it gives the time to think what you just read. After all, stories are written to be felt, to be a part of it. Right?
By now, you must have got how it is going and what we are trying to convey in this post. Kindle or any other e-reader cannot be ignored as they save lots of space and can download a book quickly. In addition, it respects your privacy and is very handy if you are multitasking. Even then, the sales figures say it all. Maybe because people are loving the old fashion of reading or it is just a preference, nothing else. For us, maybe this is a sentimental decision. What is your take?