The Great Debate: E-Books Vs Print


A tablet and a book hug in a cute cartoon. Labeled for reuse by creative commons.

While many publications are turning digital, the question of e-books vs printed books has become a constant debate. Sometimes, it can be difficult to decide between the two sides. 

While e-books help the publishing industry, they can also be a bit daunting for readers.  When readers are used to going into a bookstore, browsing the aisles and holding a book in their hand, it can be hard to start reading electronically.

However, there are many amazing benefits to reading online. Reading online allows you to never leave your home. You simply choose a book and read it.

Some people do not have a preference and just use whatever is most convenient. Both ebooks and print books serve their purpose well and using both works well for some readers. 

“I do use both. When I’m at home, I always use hard copy books to read, but if I’m out and about I use my phone to read if I’m bored,” said junior Kailey Moyer.

However, physical books have the feel that many readers love. Readers can hold it, turn the pages and feel the paper. Many people love to read and may spend a lifetime collecting and acquiring books to stock their shelves. They often find it hard to trade in their paper for a slab of metal and plastic.

“I’ve found some books with beautiful covers, and when I finished the book, the cover made it somehow seem so much more special,” said senior Kerem Morales. 

Readers may also compare the quality of the format and illustrations between the two ways of reading. The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes can be bought in either hard copy or online versions, but many readers may find the online version lacking in its illustrations and visuals to prioritize the text.

Books on paper are difficult to carry around, especially hardcovers. If you’re an avid reader and you’re going on a trip, or just wanting to carry one around, an electronic device is much easier and far lighter to carry. There is also the satisfaction of having a whole library at your fingertips, not to mention an infinite supply just a click away.

In addition, eBooks have the advantage of no space constraints, just about everything published is available.

“I can have a whole set of books in my back pocket. I love being able to read a book and hop onto the next one so quick,” said junior Crystal Cooper.

Both formats have their benefits and downfalls, but it comes down to preference. Some people like holding the smooth and decorative book in their hands and others prefer to scroll through a whole library in minutes.