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Does e-book spell the death of paper books?


The feeling that you get from holding a book in your hands, turning the pages by your fingers, earmarking the pages with best lines will never be attained from a kindle. Book reading starts at early age and progresses slowly. Starting with thin comics, secret seven or famous five series to books with thick sizes and smaller fonts. All this will be lost in an e book reader. This may seem a little primitive but book lovers will agree with each word. Reading a book is an experience and an electronic device, although, provides comfort but takes away the experience. Instead of book collection at your place you will end up with an online library. To some it may be convenient, to some it may not be!

With progress in science, many things have changed around us. Everything works at a single click and a few taps. You get a large collection of books online defined by their genres, authors, mostly read etc. Finding a book is easy and ordering it is simple. Environment also comes into consideration. With deforestation at its peak, cutting down more trees to publish books may be a little harsh on environment. E-books are cheap, eco friendly, convenient and easily accessible. Paper books are dying a slow death. When you can search the book at one click, why go out and look for it in book stores? E books are a boon for budding writers and they get to publish their writing without going through the hassles of publishing house. It is cheaper for them as well as the readers as few e books are free of cost.

Books v/s e-books
Books v/s e-books

Paper backs have existed since a long time. It is the reason we still get to read writings of Shakespeare. Children still treasure the books they buy in little shelves at home. An online library might not give the same feeling as filling up of shelves with different books they “own” gives! Owning the latest book is a joy, for you can read it before others and then you can lend it to them. Sounds a bit competitive? Well ask any school student who bought Chetan Bhagat`s book as soon as they were out on shelves. Not just school children, adults went berserk when new edition of Harry Potter came out. People could be seen in front of stores at the stroke of midnight! Will we get to witness such frenzy when books are published online? Not really! No book signing events by the authors will be there as there will be no “real” books to sign!

Besides e-book is a pain in the eyes. Yes friends, technology has its side effects too! Hours of online reading results in a headache. Adjusting the brightness each time you change the place is a nuisance and breaks the flow. Reading books online leads to many other activities side by side. Why? The answer is simple. All the gadgets are multi tasking. Open few more tabs- social networking sites, shopping sites etc. It is distracting for a reader. If you are reading on I-pad you will never be able to finish a single page without beeps of notifications. From holding a book in one hand and coffee in another, reading a book will be reduced to just an opened tab.

E books are fast replacing books. Some people make the shift from paper books to kindle but some still cling to paper backs. For them, completing a book gives a sense of achievement. They look at it and think 900 pages in 3 days, Bravo! In case of e-books you get a number of pages, percentage of book left etc, but, it is not the same.

The list of pros and cons will go on and on and there might not be an end to this debate. As Darwin said “Survival of the fittest”, e-books or paper backs, the fittest will survive the changing times. So, are e-books a step forward for literature or a step backwards for hard covers and paper backs? Well, it is for the readers to decide. Nonetheless, books give a tough fight to changing times. Pages become yellow, they tear off, binding becomes lose, but a book as whole never dies on you. Kindle or any other reader can co exist with books but they will never be able to replace real books. Buying a kindle doesn’t mean you are betraying your love for books. Book cafes will still be full of book lovers who chat about their favorite author over a cup of coffee. People will still rush to stores to buy the latest edition. Book marks will never be out of fashion.

E books and books both have their benefits and it’s a personal choice of the reader to decide who to choose. Since the present generation is so tech savvy it wouldn`t be a surprise if the population tend towards kindle. Authors rejoice over the fact that e book or books either ways they have readers which is a good point and even consoling!

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