We’ve all heard the long-debated question: which is better? Print or electronic books? Does the lightweight accessibility of an ebook appeal to you, or would you much rather have the distinct smell of old tomes draw you in? Two Edge writers show why they would choose one over the other, and why you should too.
Print is Perfect:
In a world where technology seems to be advancing daily, there is a move towards a paperless way of life where previous pleasures are given a new home in the tech world. One major example is the transition of physical literature, be that novels, newspapers, or magazines, to the internet and various ebook sites with many now favouring the e-option. Despite the domination of technology, my preference is always the print.
For me, growing up reading meant growing up with print books, whether that meant being read to and flicking through the pages of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt or holding my own Jacqueline Wilson books when I could read independently. Now that I’m much older, there is something comforting when you put away your phone, laptop, or turn off the TV in favour of opening up an old classic or new title to read and enjoy. In doing that, it feels like you’re rejecting the world around you to instead be consumed by a world only available in the literature. The feel of the dog-eared pages, the smell of newly purchased books, and the blurred ink old and well-loved titles is something that a kindle can never be compared to. There is a pleasure in physically picking up a title and wading through its contents, being able to fold down the corners to come back to, rather than spend even more time in front of a screen. I will always choose to escape with a print book.
– Zarah Akhavan-Moossavi
eBooks for the e-win
Despite not having the defining charm that its printed counterpart embodies, eBooks are an effective way to engage with literature while being easier and more accessible. Having many different texts available on one device means that you don’t have to carry loads of heavy paperbacks in order to read as much as desired. Depending on the device, eBooks have many features that just aren’t possible with a book. Firstly, there is the option of changing the text size, making eBooks more ability friendly. In addition to this, some devices have a ‘speak aloud’ option. This is useful for those who struggle with reading but enjoy books, as it also leaves the opportunity to read along with narration. According to statistics from Forbes, up to one million books are published each year in the USA alone, and every single one of those books will need to be printed a number of times. That equates to a lot of paper usage and, following from the current environmental crisis, may not be the most appropriate way to use resources, especially with a suitable alternative. While you may have to spend a large lump sum in order to get a device, the cost for each individual text is usually cheaper when it is downloaded compared to when it is bought in physical form. This, combined with the reduced impact eBooks will have on the environment, means that the overall cost in eBooks is a lot less, in every sense of the word.
– Emily Dennis