While everything around us is getting the switch to the digital, the question of ebooks vs printed books is in constant debate. Sometimes it becomes difficult to decide between the ebooks and printed books. A couple of years back, I bought a kindle basic to try ebooks. So, in this article, I refer to amazon kindle as an ebook reader. There are a lot of pros and cons on both sides. As per my experience with ebooks and printed books. I tried to list out the main supporting factors on both sides of ebooks vs printed books as 7 main reasons one is better than the other.
7 Reasons printed books are better than ebooks
- The feel of paper: For some people, this is a very important factor. For avid readers, holding a book in hand, the smell of the paper, nice binding and flipping through pages is a beautiful feeling which lacks in a digital device. Also, it feels great to always have a book nearby, no matter if you read it or not.
- Sharing the books: You can share a printed book with any friend or colleague whereas paid ebooks (from online stores like kindle store) can be used with one account only. That means you cannot share purchased ebooks with a friend without sharing your account credentials. This is one very important factor in the debate of ebooks vs printed books.
- Illustrations and images: Printed books are great when it comes to displaying images and illustrations. whereas ebook readers are not so good at this. Along with this, ebook readers support the black and white display, not colored. So the genres of photography, cooking etc are more successful as print books.
- Flexibility in Annotating: Annotating a printed book is very whereas It is very limited in an ebook. In a printed book you can use pencils and pens of different colors to highlight, use symbols, drawings etc. But this feature is very limited in an ebook where you can only highlight lines, bookmark pages and add some notes.
- Ability to skim quickly: It is easier to skim a real book than an ebook. Going back and forth in a printed book is much faster as compared to that an ebook reader.
- No need for electric power: You don’t need to charge printed books. Since it needs no electric power. You can carry them anywhere without the worry of charging.
- Cheaper than ebook reader: A printed book is much cheaper than the ebook reader. If you don’t read much, a print book will be more economical. But if you read a lot of books, the overall cost is reduced with an ebook reader.
7 Reasons ebooks are better than printed books
- Ease of reading: Reading on an ebook reader is great. Most of them provide one-hand experience. Most of the times, you won’t need to use two hands. You can read at any angle and posture. The ebook readers with inbuilt light allow you to read in dark without any eyestrain.
- Access to thousands of books: An Ebook reader is very lightweight. You can carry thousands of books anywhere since ebook carries just a digital copy of the book. Imagine you are going for a long tour and you don’t want to carry a lot of books in your luggage. It is even lighter than a medium sized book. Printed books can be heavy, especially the one with thousands of pages and hardcover ones.
- Cost effective: The ebook reader might look costly. But that is a one-time investment. When it comes to purchasing the books for the ebook reader. The price of ebooks is pretty less than the printed ones. Along with that, there are thousands of free ebooks available on the internet for download. This is considered a very important factor while talking about ebooks vs printed books.
- Highlighting & bookmarking: Highlighting and bookmarking is really simple in an ebook vs printed book. Just one finger is enough for all this, no pencil/pen needed. You can quickly review the note. All the notes are accessible online in one place where you can view, share, download or print. No need to go through the entire book again.
- Inbuilt dictionaries, Wikipedia and X-Ray: Amazon Kindle has inbuilt dictionaries, Wikipedia and X-ray feature (a feature of to explore the characters and summary of the book). You don’t need to carry a dictionary or phone while reading. When you don’t understand the meaning of any word, just tap on it and the definition will be displayed instantly.
- Instant availability of books: Ebooks never goes out of stock. After all, they are digital copies. Once you purchase an ebook, you can download them instantly and start reading it. You don’t need to wait for the delivery of the book.
- Free samples: When you are looking for an ebook, generally the seller provides a sample which contains some parts of initial chapters, the table of contents etc. This helps you to start reading without actually purchasing the book. If you like it and want to continue, you can purchase it.
Ebooks vs Printed books: Which is better?
There are a lot of factors on both sides, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference. I read books like 1984, Wonder and The girl on the train on my kindle, click links to read my reviews on these. I suggest you can try a Kindle basic in beginning and see if that works for you. Let us know what do you prefer? Ebooks or printed books or a
A useful suggestion that is! Will keep that in mind while using Kindle again. Though I still stand by my point that I find printed book reading more interesting and engaging.
It can also save trees by making humans produce less paper!
I am a fan of ebooks. And I will always be. I have three copies of Kindle tablet and an ipad air. I read avidly with those devices. You’ve mentioned some of the advantages of ebooks. I need to add that when you purchase them, they are available in the cloud. Some of the interesting printed books I bought during my college years I can no longer find. People borrow printed books and will not return. But not ebooks. Once you purchase, they are yours for ever. And you can read across all your devices. And with sites like BookBub and BookLending.com, I have enough free books to last me a lifetime. I am for ebooks anytime.
Simply, do you want to own the book or rent it. Using kindle or other electronic versions limits that. Give it to my nephew as a physical book or lend it to whom ever for 14 days?
I like e-books and use several formats including Kindle and Books. I also like to borrow e-books from the library. The primary drawback, for me, is the difficulty in quoting from an e-book, as a reference in a paper or to share and discuss with others. With a physical book, you can just scan it, or print out a copy of a page. There must be a way to do this with an e-book as well but I haven’t figured it out. has anyone else figured out how to do this?
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