E-books vs paper books


With the ‘green’ mentality getting stronger and the endless growth of the internet and venture capitalists coming out of the woodwork, e-books have created a name for themselves in today’s society. Their accessibility, cheapness and environmental factors play a key role in their journey of being the most sought after. Instead of having to go out to a store or waiting for a book ordered online, you can purchase and glance through an e-book immediately. Also, a wider range of  books are available as e-books as it is possible get a book which is popular in other countries but not as well known in yours.

E-books allow independent publishers to produce and distribute their material at fractional costs as compared to traditional paper publishing. Plus, they are cheaper because the publishers don’t have to make up for the cost of manufacturing the books. In the present-day busy scenario, people like to read while travelling. So, instead of carrying a book, they like to read it on their electronic gadgets. Abiding by the motto ‘Go Green’ , e-books definitely have a larger scope than paper books. The continuous process of evolving has replaced cassettes, tape recorders, radio instruments with ipods, DVDs and an in-built radio system in mobile phones. Earlier, landlines were considered better than portable phones because they did not need charging and were incapable of being misplaced but we all know what the condition is now.

Slowly and gradually, paper books seem to be losing their popularity amongst the coming generations. Even so, they will never be wiped out forever. Of course, the year 2012 saw sales of 100 million e-books but those who love the smell of a book, the lovely sensation of turning the pages of a book, the sound of the pages flapping past your fingers will never be satisfied with an e-book. There is a sense of relaxation which comes when you actually sit with a book in your hand. There are people who love to build up libraries in their houses, and there will always be avid paper book readers. Nowadays, classroom studies are taking place by pure electronic means but some part of studies always require the use of a board. You can’t completely do away with it. Nothing matches the happiness of buying new books. Book fairs would be boring if instead of having to touch and see new books, we would be delivered information about the latest e-books. Not every book can be read as an e-book, only some can be. Thus, there would never be an unanimous winner or a losing side in this game. One form of reading may earn greater readership than the other but that ‘other’ will always remain and the difference between the readership would not polarise these modes. These two modes are like the two ends of a playing field inside which the players keep roaming to associate themselves with one end but are constantly entangled in the attractions of the other.


Namrata Gupta ([email protected])

Picture from oceansidelibrary.com