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Friday Book Buzz: Ebooks Vs. Hard Copies

Posted on the 20 April 2012 by Theliteraturelion @LiteratureLion

Friday Book Buzz: Ebooks vs. Hard CopiesEvery week for my school newspaper, I've been writing blogs about the thing I love most: books! I've decided that now would be a good time to start posting these on my own book blog. Most of the topics I do are about controversial topics in the book community, so I thought they would be good discussion questions and posts for on my blog.This feature will be posted every Friday, and I will alter some of my articles to fit more of my style of writing on this blog, compared to my school writing. Don't be afraid to leave comments below stating your opinions on the topic!Topic: Ebooks vs. Hard Copies

As years pass, everything in our world becomes technologically advanced and modernized - including books. After many years of reading out of dusty old hard copies, readers are finding themselves holding electronic tablets called e-readers instead of hardcover or paperback novels. There are two sides to this debate. One side decides to stick with the feeling of having a book in their hands, and the other which yells at readers to “get with the program!”

E-books made their start decades ago, but no one ever paid attention to them until last year. The ability to carry an entire library around is one of the main reasons people prefer e-readers over traditional books. They find them much easier to use when traveling long distances when they don’t want to lug around multiple books. It also clears the clutter out of your house since the books you’ve read can be found in one small device rather than multiple bookshelves. Another benefit of e-books is that they’re much cheaper. A best-selling novel, like the Hunger Games, sells for $8.99 on for a paperback edition, and $17.99 for a hardcover. Meanwhile, you can purchase an e-book edition of the novel for only $5.00 from the same website.
The e-readers also have features that not many people know about. Some Kindles and Nooks allow readers to download books directly from the internet feature on their e-reader. I have a Kindle, and I find the task of plugging in a device to my computer and dragging files really tedious. I was happy to find out that the process of downloading books is done through a program called ‘WhisperNet’ which simply sends the novel straight to your Kindle in under a minute. I was also surprised by some of the ‘experimental’ features available on my Kindle, such as the internet program and the music player. Also, each Kindle includes a pre-downloaded dictionary where you can look up unknown words that you’ve recently read.
The opposite side argues that e-readers are ruining teenage readers of our society. It seems that there’s no real reason readers find these e-readers so repulsive, besides the fact that they’re not used to them. Most readers love the feeling of turning the page or smelling the pages of a newly-opened book. These people have nothing to worry about as e-readers, like the Nook, let you use your fingers to swipe the page, and companies have even released aerosol cans that you can spray on your e-readers to make them smell like used books! On Twitter, I posted a quick question asking other readers why they like traditional books over e-books and a third of the replies said paperbacks and hardcovers don’t run out of battery! Other replies included: less potential of eyestrain, look more appealing on shelves, easier to lend to friends, physically see how far you’ve read, feeling the weight of what you’ve accomplished, and the ability to flip through them.
Some people worry that with the rise of the e-readers, people will slowly forget about books. Many readers argue that books are not dead, they’re just evolving. They agree that this new technology will draw attention to teens, since teenagers mostly care about following modern trends.
Goodreads, a social-networking website for readers and authors, released a research done in the beginning of January 2011 that questioned if 2011 would be the year of the e-reader. They took statistics from 2009 - 2010 regarding the amount of sold copies of each form: paperback, hardcover, and e-books. They found that paperbacks are consistently decreasing, and the e-books have been rising dramatically! I’ve included the graphs use in the research below to further make my point.
I do not know which side I prefer when it comes to this debate. Indeed, I do have a Kindle, but I rarely read on it. This is mostly because I get books from the library, and there is no way to ‘check out’ books for a short period of time on my Kindle like there is with hard copies. Therefore, I find myself leaning towards hard copies a bit more. I am the type of person that likes feeling the pages and the ability to close a book in triumph after I’ve finished it. The smell sometimes even lures me in - but I don’t think I would go so far to spraying some mist on my Kindle just to make it smell this way. It’s just not the same.
What is your view on this discussion? Are you completely against the idea of e-readers, or do you not mind them and sometimes prefer them over the actual book? Or are you like me, in which you are undecided on the matter and wouldn’t mind reading from either of them? Leave your viewpoint in the comments below!

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