The Ongoing Battle Between Electronic and Paper Books

As technology continues to gain popularity and improve day by day, it seems that more and more people are turning to eBooks over the traditional paper form. As much as I hate to admit it (preferring paper copies myself) there are quite a few benefits to owning an electronic reading device. So, when you really break it down, what are the pros and cons of electronic reading?


Better for the Environment?

Electronic reading devices result in the use of less trees and help us to maintain a greener lifestyle by skipping the need for paper. Although, you do have to charge the devices and they could also just end up in a landfill (but they are able to be recycled at special facilities).


I think this is the one that really gets to me. When we went on family vacations when I was younger, I used to struggle with my book decisions. Should I pack one of my bigger books or should I pack several shorter books? Looking back on this now, I’m sure the actual weight of the books would have come out to be quite similar no matter what option I chose, but younger me didn’t think of it like that (and honestly older me doesn’t really think about that logical point either when I have limited space for books). If you have a reading tablet however, you are saving weight and space when on the go because these bad boys can hold up to something like a couple thousand books at a time (something my aunt likes to point out to me all the time).


I continue to go back and forth on this point because I think you make every reading option affordable if you do a little research. In general eBooks run cheaper at a book for $4.99 or so then say walking into your local store and purchasing a brand-new hardcover book for $22.99. While both prices can add up quickly depending on how often you read, the purchasing of physical books obviously adds up faster. So, if you are someone who prefers brand new books at an affordable price, the electronic reader will probably be a better fit. If you don’t mind reading used books however, you can save a ton of money by either going to local book sales (there are some sales where you can fill up an entire bag with books for $5!!) or checking books out from your local library.



The electronic component brings up two main issues for me. The first being I now have another device I have to find an outlet for and remember to charge. Imagine getting all cozy on your couch under your blanket next to the fire only to realize your reading device is dead because you forgot to plug it in, awful. The second is that I like to read outside on the grass, or in a hammock, or by the water, and as upset as I would be if my physical book were to get damaged doing these things, it would not be the end of the world. If I knock my reading tablet off the dock and into the lake on the other hand, I would be really pissed off.


Last but not least, we have one of the main arguments against eBooks, you just cannot beat the way it feels to hold a book in your hands, to be able to physically flip the page, or that smell of the paper that so many readers love.



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