Paper Books vs Kindle - Which Is Better?

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With the advent of new technologies, the world around us is becoming increasingly digital. More and more readers are switching to e-books due to their flexibility and convenient use. However, many people still prefer the tactile feel of traditionally printed novels.

The question of which is better has been a constant debate. It ultimately boils down to the reader’s preference. Avid readers often have bookshelves or libraries inundated with myriad novels of numerous genres; each book is associated with a special memory be it a birthday gift or one’s first read. 

E-book readers, on the other hand, are deprived of the experience of treasuring or decorating a special corner of the house designated especially for books. But, with a device like a Kindle that barely consumes any space in the bag, one has the privilege of carrying hundreds of books on the journey.

Let us consider some factors to weigh the pros and cons of both the versions of books.

Paper Books - Pros

1. The Feel of Paper

For some readers, it is the incredibly comforting smell of books that makes reading pleasurable. No electronic device can ever match the essence of simply holding a book, turning its pages and skimming through it easily. The rustic, delicate feel of the pages is what lacks in an e-book.

2. Ease of Scribbling and Marking Points

Many readers have a habit of writing detailed texts or underlining large chunks while reading a book. Though devices like Kindle do offer the feature of highlighting and making notes, it is more comfortably possible in a traditional version than an e-book.

3. Meaningful Gifts

What better than a bestseller to gift to a passionate reader. Printed books are the best form of mementos one can send on the occasion of birthdays or celebrations for they hold memories that are etched in our minds forever. Apart from gifts, they can be easily borrowed or shared among each other.

4. Good Image Quality

Imagine reading a book filled with pictorial descriptions all over and not being able to view them due to the constraints of your device. Graphics and pictures are better represented in a printed book than a kindle. 

5. No Eye Strain Due to Glare

Printed books provide a hassle-free experience of reading. The light-emitting glare of electronic devices often hampers your ability to sleep and strains the eyes. A traditional book offers respite to those of us who spend hours glued to the screen at work.

6. No Need to Charge

The biggest advantage of printed books is that you do not have to worry about limited battery life during long, excruciating hours of travel. Your book is there with you throughout the journey. 

Kindle- Pros

1. Portability

A Kindle barely has any weight. Hence, you can carry it anywhere and jam as many books as you want on a device that weighs less than a pound. Its portability surely beats carrying three or four books on a long trip especially when you are making a mad dash through the airport.

2. Convenience

With electronic devices, reading is no longer limited to four walls or paperbacks. You do not have to find a brick and mortar bookstore in your neighbourhood or wait for your book to be delivered at home. E-books provide the sheer convenience of pulling out your device, purchasing with the tap of your finger and start reading at the very second.

3. Inbuilt Wikipedia and Dictionary

The Amazon Kindle has a feature of a dictionary and a search engine built in the device that instantly displays the meaning of the text chosen. You no longer have to keep your phone or a pocket dictionary handy if you stumble across an unfamiliar word.

4. Free Samples

Before purchasing an e-book, you get a chance to download a free sample that contains an excerpt from the book. It is enough to decide whether you want to finish or give up. This is an exceptional way of saving a good deal of money and making the browsing experience similar to that of a bookstore.

5. Bookmarking and Highlighting

In an effort to make reading books on Kindle just as enjoyable as a regular book, the Kindle allows you to bookmark pages or highlight text which is then displayed with a grey background. You can then view your favourite passages effortlessly with a couple of clicks.

6. One-Time Investment

Kindle is an incredibly useful device when it comes to easy reading. Features like customizable font size, instant availability of books, environmentally friendly option, and the ability to read even in darkness make it a great investment.

Well, considering the above points, the answer to the question depends on the preference of readers. Daily commuters or travelers who want to keep it light choose the digital version while others resort to the traditional form of books. 

For some, the smell and feel of paper curling up on a rainy afternoon give immense pleasure while for some, the convenience of having a device that fits in your hand gives joy.

Over the past few years, the landscape may have evolved to meet consumer needs but what has not changed is the love for books. No matter what shape or size they come in, we are bound to relish beautiful stories written by legendary authors for centuries to come. 

Written by - Aishwarya Khandekar

Edited by - Daity Talukdar

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