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Paper Book vs Electronic One. Part 3

by in Other
Advantages and Disadvantages

Most recently, the rapid death of paper books was considered an almost fait accompli. However, time goes on, book publishing is still just the same, bookstore shelves are not empty, public libraries are not closed. What went wrong? Why are the pages that smell of printing ink still lovely to our heart? Why are they preferable for people of all generations – from students preparing for the exam, to adults who are fond of fiction?

In the previous parts of the article, we have already discussed many issues, reviewed the results of the studies and came to unexpected conclusions. Now we will summarize all the information.

Let us imagine a little contest between paper and electronic books. Who will win? Will one carrier supplant the opponent, or will both remain on an equal footing, as an alternative to each other?

So, the list of pluses and minus – on the scene.

Pros of Electronic Book

  • Compactness. It involves the ability to store large amounts of information on small media, allows you to take with you on a trip several books, including "Ulysses" and "War and Peace";
  • Ecological compatibility. Paper is used for the production of paper books, which means that trees are destroyed. And one small electronic book contains an immense number of pages, saving the whole forest from cutting down;
  • There is no need for lighting, because the electronic book has its own backlight. Light turned out in the whole house becomes a good reason to take up the book. However, this does not apply to all devices, because many do not have backlighting, approaching paper carriers on the characteristics of visualization of text;
  • The ability to make notes, bookmarks, quickly find the right parts of the text with the help of a search engine, refer to dictionaries. In general, the eBook assumes more opportunities for interaction with the text, in which it will not be spoiled, unlike the paper one;
  • Ability to embed media (video, audio). This is a good addition to encyclopedias and educational literature;
  • The ability to change the font and size of letters, which allows people with poor eyesight to read without glasses;
  • It is easy to recover a lost book – it can be downloaded from the Internet or copied from a friend.

Cons of Electronic Book

  • Unreliability. If there is a breakdown – goodbye, hundreds of books collected on all the back streets of the Internet, bought on websites, downloaded from friends... When we sloppy tea or drop a paper book into the bath – only one will suffer. After such an incident with the gadget, the entire library disappears immediately;
  • Low quality. Most likely this minus is temporary and will later be eliminated. Books on the Internet are often not read by anyone. It happens, you download, look – and this is a scan from a paper source, recognized in FineReader and never edited. Here are cubes, and hieroglyphs, and areas of unreadable text;
  • Inconvenience in reading. Yes, carrying eBooks with you is convenient, but reading is not very much. Or rather, it is convenient not for all. There are many people whose eyes get tired even when reading with super-comfortable eBooks. But it does not happen when reading from a paper page. In addition, when reading from luminous screen in the dark, eyes are strained because of the contrast created by the difference in illumination of areas visible by operative and peripheral vision;
  • Facelessness. All books that are read from electronic media are the same. Because of this, all the information read becomes a continuous unstructured flow.

Pros of Paper Book

  • Individuality. Each book you read is remembered by the cover, the texture of the pages, and the font. Therefore, they are all different for us, and all together create a whole world;
  • Information is easier to read and perceive from a paper source. We discussed this issue in the previous parts, talked about semantic maps and the results of experiments;
  • When reading a paper book, we experience emotions more vividly. We talked about empathizing with the main characters. The activity of the nervous system is almost twice as high when reading paper books;
  • We will not reject such nice nuances as the smell of book pages, the pleasure of buying a fresh volume in a beautiful cover, looking at the backs on the shelves of the home library... Simply put, paper books themselves cause more pleasant emotions;
  • By the way, the home library encourages children to read much more than eBook. Series of colorful volumes evoke curiosity, while the use of gadgets is reduced to games and social networks.

Cons of Paper Book

  • The weight. Today many people have time only for reading on the subway or train, and you will not always take a weighty volume on the road;
  • They take up a lot of space, so the number of paper books in the house is limited, while electronic ones can be collected by tens of thousands;
  • The need for wood for production;
  • You need to buy a paper book, but you can easily download an electronic one for free;
  • If a friend asks to read a paper book, it can go away irrevocably. Electronic one can simply be copied.

Winning Is Not Everything


These are all questions of the situation. In fact, it does not matter what you have in your hands – an electronic or paper book. This is a matter of personal preference. What is more important is the answer to the question – to read or not to read?

The benefits of reading books have already been proven by scientists. Well-read people are less likely to be poor, reading books prolongs mental health, relieves stress even better than music or walks.

And again: if watching television while eating it is harmful, then reading is the other way round. We eat slowly with a paper book, so we chew food better.

The benefit of reading is an indisputable fact. But what do those who do not like to read? Perhaps the problem is the lack of habit and wrong approach? The secret is that the well-read people are enamored of the love of books by their parents in a deep childhood. Those who do not have such a useful habit will have to train themselves.

This issue should be approached seriously – it is not enough just to buy the first book that was found. The trick is that everyone knows how to read words and sentences, but it is not everyone who reads books correctly. This is a whole art, and one who knows all about it absorbs literature with pleasure and in large quantities. And who does not know reads chaotically, does not remember information and does not take advantage of it.

But let us go back to the ring where electronic books compete against paper ones. We believe that in this case friendship won. As electronic music did not supplant the instrumental, as television did not displace the theater, the same invention of the electronic book will not exterminate the paper one. And it pleases because in this way we become richer in the whole universe.

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