Since the dawn of modern machinery, technological tools have offered methods of convenience that once seemed impossible. Aimed at making life simpler, invention after invention has consumed human existence. From computers to tablets to cell phones, we can even read a book on a tiny device that may just fit in one’s pocket without excruciatingly small font.
This brings us to the debated topic of real books versus eBooks. Which is better, the hard copy “real books” that are printed and bound collections of content, or an electronic compilation of words presented with a multitude of format options?
Truth is, both offer pros and cons. Let’s take a look.
– Returns a sense of nostalgia to the old ways of doing things.
– No need to recharge – indeed there is no battery.
– Can stand up to time.
– The pages present a scent of paper that for some represents a tangible entity that inspires the imagination to come alive.
– Can borrow from a public library or own and create your own private collection of reading material.
– Binding is heavy.
– Difficult to have multiple books with
– Cost may be high since there is actual physical materials.
– One size font in the printed copy, so would need to reprint to achieve smaller or larger letter sizing.
– Water or fire damage can destroy the book.
– Lightweight, easy to carry.
– Can easily store multiple books in a single device.
– Can make size of words larger with the touch of a button or the swipe of a finger.
– Depending on service for the eBook, can copy to maintain a backup or share with others.
– Lower cost since no raw materials go into each actual book. May even be available free.
– Screen viewing for long periods of time can hurt the eyes.
– Unable to read if the battery goes out.
– Unless a backup is created, if something happens to the device, then the eBook is lost.
– For some, reading electronically doesn’t inspire the same imagination unraveling as does a hard copy physical book.
– Borrowing or loaning an eBook becomes dependent on format. Some versions cannot be read on all devices.
The intrinsic value of reading in general is not lost with the increase in technological options available. Indeed, there are simply more possible paths for engagement in an activity through which creativity and inspiration can be unlocked. Ultimately, it comes down to reader preference: The tangible tactile feel of a hard copy book or the convenient ease of a library literally at your fingertips?
It really is up to you.