‘Paper books’ or ‘eBook’
What is a paper book?
A number of pieces of paper, usually with words printed on them, which are fastened together and fixed inside a cover of stronger paper or cardboard. Books contain information, stories, or poetry, for example.
What is an eBook?
An electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device.
Yes! These are the absolute definitions to paper book and eBook.
But the question here arises, what is it that’s making eBooks more convenient than paper books among commoners? Or is it the paper books that’s still in the limelight?
eBooks have definitely made a huge difference in common peoples life all over, be it convenience, such as relating to the options provided in it which are of course similar to paper books – readers can bookmark pages, make notes, highlight passages, and save selected text. In addition to these familiar possibilities, eBook readers also include built-in dictionaries, and alterable font sizes and styles. Typically, an eBook reader hand-held device weighs from about twenty-two ounces to three or four pounds and can store from four thousand to over half a million pages of text and graphics. A popular feature is its back-lit screen (which makes reading in the dark possible). Some eBooks can be downloaded for free or at reduced cost, moreover, prices for many eBooks – especially bestsellers – are similar to those of hardcover books, and are sometimes higher.
Apart from these physical considerations, however, studies have shown that when it comes to reading comprehension, printed books are still a better choice. One such study was recently conducted by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. The study found that literacy building in children is more effective with a printed book than with an eBook because of the centralized focus on the story and the opportunities for interaction between the child and the parent reading the book with the child. While eBooks also deliver the story, and encourage children to participate with interactive add-ons, there is no conversation and nothing to encourage the child to verbalize or explore using language. In fact, the research concluded that sometimes “click-through” added features can actually detract from the reading experience because of all the interruptions.
There’s also the matter of production cost. Obviously, printed books cost more because of the resources needed. Ebook reader manufacturers, though, spend the bulk of their production cost on the device itself, and from then on everything is digital and a fraction of the cost per book, compared to printed books.
The race is getting tighter now. With downloadable music already set to completely replace CDs, the next round of the format battle begins. Who will come out on top: eBooks or printed books?
Avid fans of printed books claim that there’s still nothing like the smell of paper and the rustle of the pages as the reader flips gently through the book with their fingers. There’s something intimately rustic about the entire experience, they claim, and it’s one that cannot be derived from the cold, electronic ebook version. On the other hand, those who prefer the ebook often say that the device takes a whole lot of weight from their shoulders – literally. Packing for trips is bad enough as it is, but it becomes doubly so when confronted with the task of choosing which book to bring. With the ebook, however, a reader can take hundreds of books with them on the journey, and only take up a few square inches in their carry-on bag.
There are many factors to consider when discussing the matter of ebooks vs. printed books, but ultimately, it boils down to the reader’s preference.
Marc Slater, director of 7 Speed Reading, weighs in on the debate. “Clearly, the winner in this round is none other than the person doing the reading, no matter which method they choose. With all of the options available in the market, there simply is no way to not enjoy reading. If anything, what people should be focused on is learning how to read faster. After all, there are so many books to pick up and read out there – both in printed form or eBook version – that we should be concentrating on reading as many as we can, in whatever format suits us best.”