As a recently new invention, ebooks hae taken the modern world by storm. You can now carry around an entire library of books in you're pocket or purse, and read whenever/wherever you go. Ebooks are not without their drawbacks, however, and many still prefer physical books (including myself). So what are the pro's of ebooks and are they really as great as many companies who want to sell these new-ish devices to you claim.
A huge library can be stored at your fingertips
The first, and probably most obvious one, is the amount of books that one is now able to carry around as a result of digitalization. Books aren't heavy in memory, many only take up mere megabytes, which means one can carry an obscene amount of books and still have room for many other applications.
No trees killed in the making of this book
We live in a world plagued by deforestation; ebooks are only one way you can make a change in this world, however small.
When writers mention a name from earlier in the book, that you might have read three weeks ago, you can easily go back to find out whom they are referring to. This allows for mobility not found in physical books, which makes ebooks a boon for research papers or those that need to look up specific passages/parts of the book quickly.
Your books are always with you - you can travel with them!
Whether you keep you're ebooks on your phone or an ereader, you are able to carry around a tremendous amount of books with you. Unless you're the hulk, the amount of books you can carry around on an ebook is simply impossible with physical books.
You can read in the dark
Ever had a annoying roomate, sleepy partner, or otherwise needed just needed to read in the dark? Ebooks make this possible! Digitalization means a plethora of different backlighto options on ebooks, which is much better than using a flashlight under the blankets.
Font-size can match your eye strength
Everyone has different eyes, part of the versatility of ebooks is that you can adjust the font size to your own liking. Extremely useful for those with eye problems.
Easier to bookmark and annotate.
No need to carry around dedicated bookmarks, and your bunny-earing days are over. With an ebook, you are always a few clicks away from highlighting, bookmarking, or whatever else you may need. This is especially great for researchers or college students.
Buy online, instant download on your schedule, in your pijamas.
No more trips to the bookstore, no more wasting money on gas, click, buy (or pirate if that floats your boat), and you're good to go! Doesn't matter if you are at work, it takes a literal few seconds. You can finally attain all the books on that list you made over the last few years!
Less expensive to create and to buy.
If you are a heavy reader who buys lots of books, then an e-reader will ultimately become a less expensive option to fuel your book-reading habit.
On-page links for further information.
If you're ever come accross a new word, or found something intensely interesting in the current book you are reading, an ebooks allows you to automatically and easily look up and research it further.
Audio and video can enhance the book.
Physical books do not come with audio or video, now do they? Ebooks have the possibilty of incorporating both into the current book you are reading, making for a more rounded, enjoyable, and immersing experience.
Eye-strain is a real problem. Not only can it cause large amounts of pain from staring at a screen all day, but it has the possibility of also causing damage to your eyes. Obviously, that's no fun if you spend large amounts of time reading books.
Loss of "book satisfaction", turning pages, etc.
One of my favorite smells is that of a new book. Putting it right up to you're nose and just taking pleasure in the smell of hundreds of unread pages as they flip by your nose. Ebooks don't have that; they are purely digital. One misses out on some of the simpler aspects of reading books.
If you forget to back up your files... oops.
Well, time to spend the day re-downloading and searching for all those books you lost!
Harder to read on the beach, or direct sunlight in general
Reading books in the sun, whether it's you're favorite tree or on the beach is a great experience. Many Ebooks don't allow for this, because of the limitations of technology and backlighting, one will have a hard time reading (with much more eyestrain) in sunny places.
You need a device
Before you can read ebooks, you have to get something that can display them. Whether it's a e-reader or smartphone, it's an investment towards your reading habit. And if you happen to break it, well, you'll just have to buy a new one.
Paper books will always be compatible with our eyes; ebooks might not be compatible with future devices
Since ebooks are on a digital device, according to Moore's law, a newer and better device will be available every 6 months. Then you have a choice; stick with the slower, slowly degrading and falling-apart digital e-reader, or buy a faster, better one packed with features. Meanwhile, one can still read physical books that were written hundreds of years ago.
If you run low on batteries, you have to stop reading.
With digital devices comes the great problem: battery life. This can force you to stop reading, and find a charger. No one likes their device shutting off in the middle of a great piece of prose, that's just rude.
When you buy a physical book, you are put in the drivers seat. You have the ultimate say of what to do with it. Read it, burn it, whatever. When you buy an e-reader, however, you have much less control. In most cases, you have to agree to a terms of service which outline what you can and cannot do with that book. Business Insider has an article outlining a licensing problems ebooks have. One of the most famous problems was with 1984 by George Orwell. Amazon censored the book (about censorship). Ironic, isn't it? This just doesn't occur with print books.
Physical books will always remain my favorite medium through which I read. I've tried ebooks, and even own a kindle (which now depressingly sits gathering dust with other electornics). Books just have a magic about them that ebooks just don't have yet.
Some call ebooks the future of reading. This may well be true, but with the current issues ebooks are having, especially with regards to licensing, I don't see this happening anytime soon.
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