Appearance of a Book in the Future: Traditional Books vs E-books

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Books are an integral part of people’s lives. They provide the foundation of learning from an early age and continue to grow with people throughout their adult lives. The purpose of a book is to convey information. Whether that information is intellectually driven or for personal reasons, books are always going to be a part of people’s lives. However, the appearance of books has taken a drastic change within the past couple of years. Transitioning over to a digital age, books are no exception. Thousands of new books are published every year both on paper and electronically. While many people think that e-books are becoming more popular as technology progress, the research admits that reading on paper still boasts unique advantages. So who wins the battle of traditional books vs e-books? Whether the text is physical or virtual, the words are the same. But the seemingly simple choice between these two ways of delivering text matters. Although people may enjoy e-books, printed books are better because of the ownership, durability, and quality of the reading experience.

One of the primary benefits of printed books is true ownership. People buy books at the bookstore, take them home, scribble in the margins, put them on a shelf, lend it to a friend, or sell them at garage sales, in another word they own them. Unfortunately, the same is not true about digital books. By comparison, e-books are imprisoned behind glass and cannot be used in such varieties. When the buyers click, 'Buy Now’’ to get the new title delivered to their account, they are not buying anything. The owners do not have total freedom. There are limits on what they can do with the digital books they own, and those limits are generally defined by law. Keith Houston, in his book A cover to cover exploration of the most powerful object of our time, says that “The e-book economy is like a housing market where no one is allowed to buy a house and we, the tenants, remain trapped on the wrong side of the divide.’’ By this said the author means when people buy a printed copy of the book, it became their personal property. Ownership of a physical book means that a person can do a lot of things with it. They can keep it forever; can read it as many times as they like; can be lent to a friend, can be resold, or given away.

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Unfortunately, it may be not expected the same from the e-books. The e-book rights are followed by a district set of rules, which states that may not be resold, lend, or otherwise transferred. That is to say that according to publishers and retailers, the only permission people have is to read only.

Irrespectively of the form, all readers use paper books and e-readers for the same purposes, that is, to study, relax, work, and learn some valuable information that can be applied in everyday life. Reading is an incredible pleasure because of the opportunity to explore the exciting world of knowledge and in learning something new. Everyone who has ever held and read a book will agree that it is the most powerful object of all the times, but in order to read e-books, one must have a particular device to read it on. Thus, an additional payment has to be made in order to have access to e-books, whereas reading print copies does not involve any extra device. With e-books, there most likely isn’t going to be a storage problem, unless the device has a limit on how many books can be purchased. Many studies such as Mangen, Walgermo, and Brønnick suggest that the ability to identify your passage through a text in a tactile way is important to the learning “So too, is the ability to easily navigate through the text in a non-linear fashion. The opportunity to quickly move back and forward whole pages and chapters at a time is considered by many as invaluable in placing the learnings of any particular passage within the context of the overall text.” Even today’s students, who have grown up using technology on a daily basis, seem to experience this. A recent study conducted by Wu and Chen concluded that a majority of tertiary students will begin their research using screen-based text benefiting from advanced search functions and the like. “However, upon choosing the appropriate text will often print it to be able to better digest the text.” This suggests that these students have an intuitive understanding of how best to find, comprehend and retain the text. Both e-readers and paper books can be used to make notes, although e-books are slightly more difficult to use for this purpose.

Some people still expect their books to look, feel and even smell a certain way; when they do not, reading sometimes becomes less enjoyable or even unpleasant. By opening it people can hear the rustle of a paper and the smell of it that cannot be replaced by a digital book. For others, the convenience of a slim portable e-reader outweighs any attachment they might have to the feel of paper books. Purchasing an e-book can take place in a matter of seconds, but physically separates the person from the book. The content does not stay on our shelves, it is on an unknown server, far away. Retails and copyright holders typically aim that the person does not own the book permanently. That means that the e-book vendor can delete the e-book from the account without warning or explanation. A good example of this was when Amazon, the world’s largest bookseller deleted Orwell’s 1984 from the Kindle several years ago. At the End of Ownership, Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schutz say “These customers went to bed one night, thinking they owned a copy of Orwell’s cautionary take and woke up the next morning to find that their books had been confiscated.’’ In the real world, this scenario would be unimaginable. The local bookseller cannot come to people’s houses in the middle of the night, to claim back the books which once was purchased. In the article 'E-books vs. paper books: Who would survive the future?’’ the writer explains that physical books and electronic readers, both are trying to dominate one another in the reading world, saying, Readers often debate about the clash between these two. Some say that printed books will never go out of fashion, but according to some others, e-books are the future of reading. ’’All that set aside, holding a physical book in the hands, and flipping each page makes the reading experience so much more real and outstanding.

In the end, it comes down to personal preference. Due to differences in how the consumer uses these products, people will have definitive preferences as to which they are more likely to use. Some people love the accessibility and inexpensiveness of e-books. Others enjoy the warmth involved with reading a good old-fashioned paperback copy. There is no right or wrong option. Ultimately, the best part of having a book in the first place is reading it! And even though the world of e-books is rapidly becoming more prevalent, there will always be an opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy reading a nice paperback book.        

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