Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Paperbooks vs. E-Books: Traditional Treasures or High Tech E-Reading?

Reading books is one of the oldest hobbies in the world and it is the most essential source of learning, entertainment and communication. From ancient tablets, to papyrus and scrolls then came the modern paperbound. Books should be considered treasures for their importance in many aspects of our learning, leisure and career growth. They have this sentimental values to their owners. In this rapidly progressing technology we have nowadays, this essential hobby was also being innovated in the form of electronic reading wherein publishers are now eager to also publish modernized electronic books we call “E-Books” in the form of a computer/digital file with formats varying on the Electronic E-Book Readers they are compatible with e.g. the popular PDF format for Adobe Reader, the EPUB format for Apple iOS devices and the very fast spreading MOBI files for Amazon Kindle/Kindle devices. As an avid reader and a blogger, I weighted their PROs and CONs and what method should we choose to use. With the question of “What is much better?” we will try to dissect their capabilities and values in this blog article.

PAPERBOOKS: Sentiment and Physical Attachment

My old books from textbooks to novels.

PROS: Owning a physical hard paperbook no matter how much the price is like owning a piece of treasure. After a long period of time when you look at your old closet, cabinet or storage room and see your old Mathematics textbooks or your first fairy tale book would make you feel a sense of connection with your past. One thing that could make us attached to a paperbook is its cover and paper, admit it or not, the colorful images and letters in a book cover is one factor of why we were attracted on buying them and it feels different turning paper pages and seeing your reading progress by looking at the thickness of remaining pages. With these factors, these books’ value lasts. They are physically yours that you could pass them on your grandchildren and friends. They are also convenient to people with vision problems and physical limitations.

CONS: Compared to E-Readers that could contain thousands of E-Books, paperbounds are heavy and they are sometimes burdensome for an avid reader to carry on travelling. You may bring one or two but you can’t carry much when you’re on a mountain hiking or skiing. When not taken care very well, they could be eaten by mice, cockroaches and be physically damaged by rain or flood.


PROS: For people who are always on the go and techie-geeks, owning an E-Reader and putting lots of E-Books on it feels like heaven. You can think that you’re carrying a huge library on your pocket or bag and can read them while you’re on a vehicle, waiting for someone in the mall or just strolling in the park. The price of E-Books today is slightly cheaper than paperbooks. Some aspiring authors tend to focus on winning the eye of the masses than to seek paperbook publishers and wait for ages.

CONS: Some says that the problem is you only buy the license from the publisher for you to have permission to read the content but you can’t legally pass the rights to others. There is a feeling of sentimentality on a paperbook and deep connections as they say could not be found on E-Books. In the aspect of technology evolution, let us face this fact that when time pass, old methods would be replaced including E-Book formats and E-Readers, let us just pray that if this happen, they could provide a way to convert old format books to new formats because we paid for them.


I would choose both. Though I am now more on E-Books because of their handiness and affordability, old paperbooks are like old teachers that we could put on shelves and our bedside table. E-Book readers are electric devices that could not remain alive if there is a brownout or power shortage. Both have PROs and CONs but beneficial and important.


  1. I like e-books because of less clutter and can be read anywhere without taking in the weight of the book.

  2. You nailed all the pros and cons. To me, I like reading both on digital and paper-based versions. The experience is not the same but both are okay. Reading for too long hurt the eyes.