Printed books or E-books? Which one we prefer? E-books have benefits in its own domain— accessibility with the click, less cost, empowering ‘Green mentality’ and more materialistically; a way to save money. Although it has become a popular reading standard. However, can we proclaim that E-books are overtaking print? A print has a territory of its own and which can never be invaded by E-books. Paper books are ‘sacred’.

Paper books provide us with the pleasure of easy and comfortable reading being portable and don’t rely on power. Also, the eyes and brain don’t mush up and it is easier to absorb. I have heard readers saying, “My spatial memory works best” and “It’s easier to locate where I was”. They are real and tangible, unique and bound and not a lifeless steely contraption holding good vibes and thrill.

Paper books give us library and bookshops and we have both on campus, Henry Madden Library and Kennel Bookstore. It is an enjoyable experience to visit books stores, exploring them, and even trading printed books with friends. Paper books provide employment to an innumerable people. There wouldn’t be librarians, publishers and distributors.

There is a different sensation of pulling a book off the shelf and being engrossed in its pages. The smell of new book and old musty smell is worth engaging. In my survey students said, “The scent is amazing”. The books lend a feeling of pride ad flutter when we show the stash of books on the bookshelf: “Look I have more than 100 books!”

Namratha Narne Chowdary from India studies in Masters in Electrical Engineering says, “Undoubtedly printed books, looks like content sticks in my head more easily.” 

Hira Amin from Pakistan in Masters in Creative Writing says, “Paper books; because it is better to hold books and read, you feel connected to that story and the world.”

Paper books have annotations and own handwriting anywhere close to personal and the charm of turning the pages. Paper books are invaluable and timeless gifts. A birthday friend exclaiming “Oh! I was thinking of buying this book” can make your friendship stronger.

Also, the gratification of finishing the book and closing it is incomparable with swiping and scrolling through the last pages of the book.

On the contrary, E-books are a library in your hands. Its portable, takes up less space and can be there with you in your laptop, kindle, or even your cell phone. You can change font, size and contrast and off course there are no lost books. It saves time as you don’t have to rush to the bookstores and libraries to get the books and its with you with a click. Moreover, E-books are interactive and contain audio, video and animations which can enhance the message that the author is trying to convey.

Bhupinder Kaur from India studies in Masters in Computer Science says, “E-books as they are portable. Secondly, we can download some of the pdf’s free from the internet from any part of the world.”

Mashael Semsem from Saudi Arabia studies in Masters in Linguistics says, “E-books because they are convenient, can be accessed online. E-books are easier to find, read and cheaper than the regular books.”

The digital era is here to stay and it’s better to find a balance between the two and not compromise with one of them. As the generations of E-books are evolving, people might be able to get more accustomed to the E-books. However, these factors could change for better or for worse.