Growing up, reading was simply a forced habit. My dad had the ‘motivational father thing’ going on and, as expected, wanted his kids to join in on it. We had shelves upon shelves of Brain Tracy’s, John Maxwell’s, Robert Greene’s and many others that were too big to be appropriate. I grew up reading these books till they became a part of me and in no time, I had a shelf of my own. So as you would imagine, I have always been on the side of books I could hold, smell, and display – much like a trophy of some sort. Initially, when asked, I would reply with a quick “obviously, physical books”. However, various times, eBooks have come to the rescue. I have been stuck at events and had an eBook to save me (I am not completely antisocial), as bringing out a physical book at a public event is slightly rude.
The war on which is the ‘best’ way to read or best means of reading has been on since the inception of the internet age. The internet, smart phones, and personal computers came with its sweet perks – ease of accessibility and convenience, ranking high. However, there is no forgetting the beauty of owning a real book – bookmarking pages, showing them off, and the usual. As far as I know it, there is no end to this battle. First, there is a case of preference; some people would always prefer hard copies any day and any time. Next, it actually depends on the circumstance and context in which the battle swords were drawn. Both have various advantages and disadvantages that it is so hard to distinguish which is better.
Carrying big books can be a major hassle. Since it naturally takes longer than a day to read an average book, you have to move the book everywhere you go, for as long as it takes. An eBook is easily movable because it is on your smart phone, but do you know how bad constantly staring at the screen is to your eyes? Next, books wear out and tear; if not handled properly, it would start looking awful with time. However, EBooks run out of batteries and can choose not to cooperate with you when there is even a slight malfunction on your phone.
No trees are burnt to make EBooks, however distractions from social media and phone buzzes would hinder the process of reading. EBooks are easy to share with friends as they can be printed, but, easy distribution of books without paying for them is not beneficial to the authors in any way. There is also that joy that comes with shopping for physical books at the bookstore and adding them to your home library; however, the pricing of hard copy books cannot be compared to eBooks as eBooks are crazily cheap! The list is endless I tell you.
Rather than outline reasons for or against the other or settle on one side, I would opt for the thin line between both. They offer you the same information, contain the same words so they take equal time to read (can be argued), and they are still books at the end of the day. While we need to embrace technological development and the perks of it – including virtual bookshelves and what not; there is no forgetting the very ones that made us fall in love with reading. Books would never go extinct as they are a form of art in their own ways.
The solution to the battle is compromise. Preference would always tilt you to one side of the pitch, but compromise is required to enjoy the essence of reading. Where eBooks are required, let eBooks subsist and where hard copy books need to be flipped through, let them. I do know the battle would not cease, however this is my little way of making peace with the gods of technology and paper antiques. I hope I have been able to convince you and not confuse you. If I have not, feel free to state your preference in the comment section.