Over the past few years, the growing popularity of e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes & Noble’s Nook, has created a change in the way that we read books. In fact, some say this new integration of technology devices could mean that books are becoming a thing of the past. Are these new devices simply a passing fad, or do they pose a real threat to physical books?
Nine Pros and Cons of Books vs. E-Readers:
Books make great travel companions, but they also take up room and weight in precious luggage space. Having a selection of 20 or so eBooks on an e-reader device means you can bring your favorites with you everywhere you go. One book weighs the same as several.
Most eBooks are less expensive than physical books. That being said, you must consider the cost of your device along with electricity used in charging your e-reader periodically. Physical books do not require any device or power supply.
3. Instant Gratification:
As much as we love to shop online, even Amazon Prime can’t get us a physical book instantly. Most eBook downloads are completed in minutes if not seconds. If you’re impatient, you can shop thousands of eBook selections from the comfort of your couch, which saves you a trip to the bookstore or the two-day wait for your package to arrive.
Many people find it relaxing to lie in bed and read before bed. An e-reader device will allow you to read quietly from the comfort of your bed with enough light to see, without having to disturb your partner.
Similarly, most e-reader devices are not as vision-friendly out in the sun as the screens often create glares and unfavorable lighting that makes reading difficult if not nearly impossible. Physical books are easy to read in outdoor lighting.
Your e-reader devices allow you to bookmark and highlight away like crazy without actually damaging or defacing any books. Then again, if you spill your drink on your device, chance are, your books are gone. However, if you spill that same drink on your physical book, you may be able to rescue it with a blow dryer and a towel.
If you leave your book poolside for all to see, chances are it will remain until you are ready for it again. However, leave your e-reader poolside, and expect to come back to a towel and no e-reader. There go your books.
6. Tracking progress:
My favorite thing about using an e-reader is seeing it calculate my progress as I read through each book. It’s nice to know how much reading I’ve accomplished and how much is left before I finish. With a physical book, you pretty much have to either guesstimate based on bookmarking and measuring the read pages comparing them to the unread pages. Or, you can do some math and calculate the total pages of the book minus the page you’ve left off at. But who likes to do math?
We all have different types of eyes. While large print books are available, it isn’t as easy to find them for every book. Using an e-reader allows you to grow and shrink the text as needed to fit your personal preference.
Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? Having a book signed can be a fun experience leaving you with a treasured possession. Having your favorite author sign your e-reader device is not only a tad awkward, but it also means you would likely need to replace it.
8. Educational Opportunities:
Come across a word that you don’t understand? No problem! Ask your e-reader to look it up in the dictionary or even audibly pronounce it for you. It takes a little more time and effort to find this information when reading a physical book.
Some argue that e-readers are more environmentally friendly as they significantly reduce the amount of paper and ink used in the creation of physical books.
There’s something comforting about the new book smell and seeing a collection of books lining the shelves of a bookcase that an e-reader can’t compete with. However, technology and gadgets are certainly fun to use and bring many added conveniences for readers. While there are clearly pros and cons to both, one can’t entirely replace the other. It ultimately comes down to a personal preference. With the amount of people who still fear technology and gadgets, it’s not likely that books will disappear just yet.