Paper Books against The Internet and Ebooks

Libro Electrónico VS Libro de Papel

One of the most common topics which are now often discussed is the election between ebooks or paper printed books. Even though most people have an ebook at home young people tend to think that paper printed books are better. As the journalist Liz Bury did comment in The Guardian newspaper the day 25 of November, 2013:

Sixteen to 24-year-olds are known as the super-connected generation, obsessed with snapping selfies or downloading the latest mobile apps, so it comes as a surprise to learn that 62% prefer print books to ebooks.

This journalist also talked about the reasons she had retreived to explain why twenty-somethings prefer those books:

The two big reasons for preferring print are value for money and an emotional connection to physical books. On questions of ebook pricing, 28% think that ebooks should be half their current price, while just 8% say that ebook pricing is right.

Other researchers such as Coeus blogger expoxed on June 2012 the reasons why someone would choose a printed book:

The “Classic” Paper Book.

Paper books offer multiple advantages:

  • They’re easily obtainable (Bookstores are everywhere).
  • They’re easily portable.
  • They don’t normally cause significant eye-strain.
  • They’re cheap.

Okay, that much was obvious. Specifically, some types of content paper books are better for are:

  • Textbooks (or any books which are generally large-format).
  • Picture / Photo books.

Another factor to bear in mind is that paper books don’t need power to function. They can be read anywhere with sufficient light, and are perfect travelling companions for exactly this reason.

The obvious cons are:

  1. Paper books are bulky and heavy. Carrying more than 2-3 around can become a chore.
  2. You need a light source to read them – another thing that you’ll probably carry around.
  3. If you make notes in them, those notes are there to stay (Yes, even pencil. You can always see the imprints, even if you erase every last shred of graphite).

And Coeus also mentioned the disadvantages of having an ebook:

The disadvantages of ebooks generally stem from the hardware you’re reading them on. If it’s a computer, you’ve got the normal computer problems which detract from your reading pleasure:

  • Eye strain and RSI. Long periods spent in front of a computer are healthy for nobody.
  • Power. Your average laptop has 4-6 hours of battery life.
  • Portability. Why lug a laptop around if you can simply carry a book?

The cons of the reader devices are a little more subtle:

  • You still have battery life to worry about.
  • Nasty software bugs in the reader can cause it to freeze up.
  • They’re not very robust. If you spill <insert beverage of choice> on them, chances are that’s the end of your reader. Not to mention scratches, dropping them, and so on.

In general, ebooks suffer from other cons as well:

  1. They’re not readily available, and format wars are making the decision to buy a reader very difficult. Will you go for the Amazon one, and buy books (only) there? Or the Sony?
  2. The pricing model hasn’t been worked out yet, causing some major discrepancies.

That is why most people is used to use paper books more than elektronic gadgets, and as Anita Singh said in her article in The Telegraph newspaper:

The technology I like is the American paperback edition of Freedom. I can spill water on it and it would still work! So it’s pretty good technology.

  1. Coeus (June 17, 2012), “Ebooks Vs. Paper Books: The Pros and Cons”, Retreived from Hubpages blog:  http://coeus.hubpages.com/hub/Ebooks-Versus-Paper-Books-The-Pros-and-Cons (December 20, 2013)
  2. Liz Bury (November 25, 2013), “Young adult readers ‘prefer printed to ebooks'”, Retreived from The Guardian:  http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/nov/25/young-adult-readers-prefer-printed-ebooks (December 20, 2013)
  3. Anita Singh (January 29, 2012), “Jonathan Franzen: e-books are damaging society”, Retreived from The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay-festival/9047981/Jonathan-Franzen-e-books-are-damaging-society.html (December 20, 2013)
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