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A Novel Debate : E-Readers Vs Printed Books


Most people fall into either the e-reader camp or the printed books one, depending on whether they are modernists or traditionalists. However, there are many benefits of both, so it’s worth reading what they are before making your mind up.

For printed books

Printed books as we know them have been around for years and lots of people feel a lot more comfortable with books in this traditional form. Many like the idea of keeping their favourite tomes for years to come, putting them on a bookcase where they can find them again in the future and experience the enjoyment they had the first time they read it again. Having a hard copy of a book makes people feel as though it is easier to keep their books forever, pass them on to their loved ones and share them with their friends and family.

Another advantage of buying printed books is you don’t need to buy any electronic apparatus to read and – as long as you have enough shelf space – you can get as many books as you want.

For e-readers

There are also many reasons why e-readers might be the favoured option. Some people love them because they’re great space savers. If you adore reading and can get through books very quickly, you’ll know how much room they can take up. By being able to download them on to your e-reader, you can read as many books as you want to without taking up any valuable space in your house or flat. This is ideal for people at university who are short on space, as they can buy all the tomes they want without using precious space in their student accommodation.

Another benefit of e-readers is you can download a book whenever you want to. So, if you’re getting through a series, and you don’t want to wait to visit a shop to buy the next instalment, you can quickly download a copy and continue finding out what happens in the storyline.

If you’re on holiday, you also don’t run the risk of finishing all the books you brought along and finding yourself with little to do. Should you read quicker than you thought, you can simply download another book from the internet and continue reading. This also means you don’t have to fill your suitcase with heavy tomes, saving on your baggage allowance as well!

These days, e-readers are getting smaller and smaller, so you can easily fit one in your bag if you’re on the move and bring them with you wherever you go. This means you can read while you’re waiting for an appointment, on your daily commute or standing at a bus stop; big, bulky and heavy books can otherwise make this a little trickier.

Many e-readers come with extra functions that some people find very useful. For instance, you can find ones with speakers, so if you want to give your eyes a rest, you can have someone read to you instead. A few are also equipped with nightlights, which are ideal if you like to read in bed or you plan to read on a plane or train where it might be dark – it’ll certainly be easier on your eyes than trying to read in dim light.

You can also find dictionaries and thesauruses on some e-readers, which is useful if you often find yourself looking up new words while digesting a complicated book. This could be useful for students studying complex literature and those who are learning new vocabulary.

Whether or not you buy an e-reader or not will depend on your needs and, ultimately, your personality, so before you buy your next tome, decide whether you want to see it on your shelf for years to come, or whether it’ll be one in a long line that you’ll buy in the future.

Natasha Al-Atassi is a property and student blogger from manchester and writes for student accommodation brand Vita Student, she also writes for other student publications and moderates a number of property forums.

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