Paperback Books vs. E-books

In response to:

In Praise of Printed Books, Part 2

For the first blog entry we will hit the ground running. In the first chapter of the text the authors talk about certain factors — enabling, limiting, motivating, and inhibiting — that either make a technology a success or a failure. Even though you may have a limited knowledge of technology you can figure out some of these factors for printed books versus e-books. That is right, both are types of technology. Read the short article above (don’t worry about it being Part 2, you don’t need to read Part 1) about books and then write a blog entry in which you discuss the enabling, limiting, motivating, and inhibiting factors of e-books versus printed books?  What is your preference?


Electronic books, or better known as e-books, are one of the newest way technology is updating our lives. With the main accessibility being tablets and e-readers, these paperless books are taking control of how we read novels and textbooks. But just because technology is advancing does that mean that it is actually better? This article by Warren Farha he discusses the cons of electronic books in today’s society.

The textbook talks about enabling, limiting, motivating, and inhibiting factors of technology. With electronic books the growth of technology itself is an enabling factor. New technology advancing creates the capabilities for large amounts of data to be held on portable electronic devices.  The creation of Applications make it easy to transfer and purchases books and put them on these devices. With the world being centered around connivence, there are a lot of motivating factors, and these applications (such as Kindle, Nook, etc.) have become a huge hit. Publishers are even making textbooks “easier” for students by making them electronic. They are cheaper to buy then if you went to the bookstore and bought the large 500 page textbook. And they are a lot easier to transport. A tablet fits into purses and backpacks to whether you are trying to study in class, or traveling across the country, you can have all your textbooks on a small device. There are many limiting and inhibiting factors to electronic books as well. Yes, we have easier access to more information, but that does not mean we are retaining this information. Having a book on an electronic device also gives easier accessibility to procrastinate from learning. Social media has taken over every electronic device. Between phones, tablets, and computers social media is the “go-to” for internet searching. It creates habits of wanting to be social instead of absorbing knowledge. E-books also take away from the physical aspect of reading. Reading on a digital screen versus holding the book in your hands takes away from the experience and feeling of progress. You don’t really know where you are in the book when you are just viewing it page by page on a screen. With a paperback book you see the pages dwindle down the farther you read into the book. Digital books can’t create that experience.

You can argue both sides to this argument. As you can see there are many pros and many cons to both printed books and electronic books. My personal preference is paperback books. I enjoy physically holding a book in my hand as I read it. With textbooks I like to highlight and jot down notes as I go along. I have a harder time concentrating on what I am doing with an e-book. It will be interesting to see how this trend progresses in the future.



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