When you read, you not only invoke your imagination, you also get to immerse yourself in a different world altogether. The stories and characters open your mind to the different realities and the beauty of the world around us and life in general.
But, do you flip or swipe your book? That’s the rub of it. The advent of technology has given rise to digital reading material and ebooks have steadily become the mainstay in the publishing industry.
However, the Covid-19 was a blessing in disguise for the printing business. Book sales were through the roof with people citing the need to educate their children and more leisure time as the reason for the book-buying spree.
And although print books are becoming popular again, the debate of whether they are better than ebooks still rages on. Picking one over the other is a nerve-wracking dilemma and we’re going to pit one against the other, see both their advantages and disadvantages so you can have an easier time choosing.
Print books engage four out of the five senses; the feel of paper as it turns, the sound the page makes as you turn it, the sight of the written word and illustrations, and the smell of ink and paper.
Book printing is an art in itself, and hardcore print book fans are grateful for the publishing industry. In its heydays, book printing was a glorious activity that required skill and precision. These days the prestige is still there although production has gone down.
Even with the introduction of ebooks, the demise of print books has not materialized yet. This means that books are still relevant and will remain so for a long while.
Easy on the eyes
Avid book readers do not have to worry about losing their eyesight every time they pick up their favorite book. And, although ebooks try to combat the potential eye damage with features such as anti-glare and low-light reading modes, they still put pressure on the eyes, making it hard to read, especially in sunlight.
Print books do not have this problem. You can just plop anywhere and read your book with complete ease.
Illustrations on printed books are of higher quality than those on ebooks. Illustrations on ebooks are usually shrunken and sometimes it is awkward to toggle between text and images.
Great for note-taking
Books allow you the luxury to pause and take notes without losing your place. You can also highlight a text you find particularly scintillating, drool, and even make notes on the book itself(although it is frowned upon). Any way you look at it, print books make it convenient and fun to make notes.
A bit pricey
Paperbacks cost a bit more and sometimes the same as some ebooks. You will have to part with a bit more money for hardcover books though. The classics are bargains in any format although you will have to pay more for the print version than the digital one.
Requires a lot of space for storage
For you to store your book collections, you need a physical space for it. This can be anything from shelves to box crates; basically any nook and cranny you can find for your books. And, although having a large collection may make you feel and look smart, storage is a real pain.
Sometimes, a book you want may not be available at your local library or bookstore. When you ask around, it may find out that the book is out of stock or the book is not being published anymore; as is the case with classical books. This is exasperating because there is no way for you to get access to it unless you turn to digital publications.
Ebooks are copies of books in digital format. E-readers are perfect for reading ebooks. In the absence of an e-reader, you can also access ebooks from your smartphone, tablet, and even laptop. It is as simple as downloading an ebooks app.
Portability; read anywhere, anytime
One of the biggest advantages of ebooks is that they can be read anywhere, at any time, as long as you have a suitable device. Ebooks are conveniently lightweight and they can be carried anywhere unlike print books which are heavy and can only be carried a few at a time.
A literal library in the palm of your hand
Well, there are still books out there that are only available in print; but, there are many more available in digital format. With the internet, you can easily find millions of books online. For example, Google boasts over 10 million copies of digital books which are available for download.
Less storage space needed
To store or save your ebooks, all you need is an ebook digital space. No need for DIY bookshelves anymore. E-readers also store your books online so, in the event that you lose or break your portable device, you can still access your books online.
All-round connectivity required
As ebooks are creations of technology, they require connectivity all the time for you to access your books. It is difficult to access your ebooks in areas with low connectivity. The connectivity inhibitions make ebooks unreliable at times.
When constantly used, ebooks tend to be hard on the eyes. Although modern e-readers have special screens with anti-glare features, those who use their smartphones and tablets risk their eye health. It really is difficult to enjoy a book when you have to squint to read it.
Not as immersive as print books
Spending hours staring at your phone screen reading a book cannot be compared to the feeling one gets when holding a book, flipping through pages, going back to reread a phrase, and inhaling the scent of old ink and the general funky smell of old books. A screen will always be a screen and it can’t be compared to paper.
Yes, ebooks have various advantages but they cannot compare to the classic authenticity that print books bring to the table. Despite the lack of ‘real feel’ , ebooks are still great, especially if you cannot find a hard copy of your favorite book.