Why books are better than ebooks

Young woman shows an elderly woman an ebook.

It’s an ebook, grandma! (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Sigismund von Dobschütz/Wikipedia)

The march of technology stops for no one. This applies to all forms of technology, including reading entertainment. As such, the ebook, whether it be via a tablet like Apple’s iPad or ereader like Amazon’s Kindle, is taking the place of the traditional book. But not so fast, world! Take time to appreciate what could be lost. Here’s why books are better than ebooks – and the reasons aren’t merely sentimental.

Why books are better than ebooks No. 1 – They’re fine art

This is particularly true if you have an illustrated version of an older book, particularly children’s literature. Art panels were lovingly constructed. Leather covers and golf leaf made for brilliant decoration to be held in the hand. Or kept on the bookshelf, or on the coffee table. Ebooks have images, but cease to be visible when the device is turned off (or electricity is unavailable).

Why books are better than ebooks No. 2 – A traditional book is harder to change

Censorship is a horrible thing when it comes to the written word. Yet ebook publishing outlets including Google and Amazon have on occasion taken it upon themselves to change ebooks remotely – acts of censorship – after they’ve already been purchased by the consumer. Most people like to get what they’ve paid for, ebooks included. Now, this doesn’t mean that censorship doesn’t occur in traditional books. Many new editions of the classics have been released with certain passages “sanitized” for “sensitive” audiences. Be upset and afraid.

Why books are better than ebooks No. 3 – No electricity? No Internet? No problem!

“Fahrenheit 451” showed us what it would be like if books were burned. In the United States, that is less likely to occur on that scale. However, in instances of natural disaster that knock out the supply of electrical power, what happens to ebooks? Once battery power is gone, there are no ebooks. If the Internet were to fade away or fall under overt governmental or corporate dictatorship, ebooks would be severely restricted – and likely censored.

Why books are better than ebooks No. 4 – You can easily share a traditional book

It’s easy to trade and share books with friends, family, classmates and used book stores. However, with ebooks, they are only licensed to the purchasing device. As such, in order to be able to share the book, you’d have to give your friend the whole device. That’s more than many are willing to do, so addictive have our personal electronic gadgets become.

The economics of e-readers


Andy Rooney wasn’t a fan of ebooks, or many things



New York Times

S.G. Browne


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