Saima was rigorously searching for Stephen Hawking’s ‘A brief history of time’. She almost searched every possible place where she could find it and finally she found the book. She clicked a button, the PDF file opened and she started reading the classic. That’s how Saima and many others search for books on their computers and over the net instead of going through stuffed bookshelves of the library or buying printed books. They just sit with their machine in the corner; find their ideal web page where the desired book is just one click away. With this emerging widespread of gadget usage, the question that comes along is, ‘are gadgets replacing physical books?’ Maybe they are, as technologies have reached to a higher level. So anything is possible. But still there are many things in this world which will never fade away. Same goes with printed books. They have been around the world for ages and there are more printed book lovers than any other e-book lovers. People still love having their libraries filled with printed books. Readers can truly feel the printed books because they are physical books and no matter what happens it’s easy to visualize an image more vividly while reading a printed book rather than e-books or other electronic device used for reading books.
There are many people who love to collect books. Whether they have a library or not, they just want to increase their collection of books. With e-books or tablets, you cannot simply do those things. With printed books you can read whenever you want to read; but in case of E-book, you are unable to read or use it once the battery is down, you will need to wait until its charged up. There are many book lovers who want to own the original edition of books to their collection. Though it’s true, that the books which used to decorate the huge shelves of one’s library are now easily found in the pockets of the people copied in their pen drives, but still printed books have its own advantages. According to publishersweekly.com, researchers found that it’s better for children to read printed books rather than advanced e-books. “The enhanced e-book was less effective than the print and basic e-book in supporting the benefits of co-reading, because it prompted more non-content-related interactions. The print books were more advantageous for literacy-building co-reading, whereas the e-books, particularly the enhanced e-book, more effectively engaged children and prompted physical interaction.”
Readers love printed books because they can feel the books. They can smell the crisp pages of the printed books. Nowadays one can easily download books for free but still there are readers alive who would give all their money away to buy a book which they can feel and touch. Printed books can be signed by its authors or any other person. Also there are readers who love buying old books and love the old smell of the pages. If for instance a book falls down from hand there won’t be any chance for it to break down but will cause a lot of damage if an e-book or kindle falls from one’s hand. One can also read printed book if it falls down into the water. But if it happens with e-book it will stop working. According to Fenlon, some studies show that our brains react differently when reading printed words rather than digital words. It can retain better information. Some scientists believe that “The physical presence of the printed pages, and the ability to flip back and forth through them, turns out to be important to the mind’s ability to navigate written works, particularly lengthy and complicated ones.” (Fenlon, 2013).
Printed books can be heavy and sometimes it’s difficult to carry, but still readers of printed books don’t mind carrying some extra weight. Maybe it has become an old school in this new generation full of gadgets. Readers can actually imagine the vision of the tale while reading printed books. Reading physical books truly seems like one is actually reading a book. One needs to be very cautious when handling an e-book or a kindle but it doesn’t happen when it comes to physical books. According to Royal, “Physical books do not have any legal restrictions when it comes to using them. According to Amazon’s website, there are certain rules regarding lending out e-books. The publisher chooses which titles to make eligible for lending and the books may only be loaned once for a period of 14 days.” (Royal, 2013). But with printed books one doesn’t have to face so much hassle. They can write, underline or circle in the book if they want to.
If we go on and on we can find many more pros and cons about printed book and e-books. But there are still certain readers in this world who are not use to the digital devices. They still believe that no matter how much science has advanced; traditional books will still be there. Maybe the craze will be less but it will be there. Just like as human beings will die one day but still they will remain the best creation of GOD. So, I truly agree with Douglas Adams. As he once compared physical books with sharks. And sharks were there before dinosaurs and they still exist because sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is.
By: Sumaiya Akhter Nitu
Sumaiya is currently perusing B.A. in English from North South University, Bangladesh. Apart from writing, she also loves Painting, writing, watching movies, listening to music & travelling.