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An endless debate- An ebook vs. a print book

, January 26, 2014, 6 Comments

ebook and  Print book- MarketExpressLast week, while I was giving my room a makeover which mostly involved shifting books, I had a fleeting thought. Maybe e-books would have been an easier choice, instead of these bulky stacks of books. But then I rubbished the thought immediately. The print book vs. an ebook debate has been on for years, of course, but I am clear on my stand on this.

I am all for embracing technological advancements and imbibing them in our day to day lifestyles to make things simpler. But when it comes to books, there are good reasons to prefer the old medium. For one, you don’t need to worry about a charging point wherever you go. You can resell them or give them away without worrying about copyright infringement issues.

When you are reading a print book – you are doing just that. No distractions be it emails, internet browsing, social networking or reminders. You have the chance to lock out the whole world and make one of your own.

Paper books can’t disappear from your library due to company policy. A book once bought is yours –not based on a license that might expire. You don’t have to have “compatible” versions of software to read a book and there are no technical malfunctions, or technology obsolescence that you might be subject too.

Though ebook sales have been soaring in the recent past, it still can’t replace the charm of a good old handbook. Can you imagine a library without the many books placed across walls in those towering wooden oak shelves? All one would see are computers with book catalogues ready to be downloaded at a click. It’s easier – yes, but it defeats the true simplicity of the experience. Why make such a simple thing so dependent on technology?

All said and done – for me, no matter how bulky, no matter how space consuming – a print book is a book. You can spill coffee or food on your book, drop it from wherever without worrying about it conking off. No matter how handy an e-book might be, it is intangible in nature.

The smell of a new book, the feeling of holding it in one’s hand, flipping through its pages, feeling the texture beneath one’s fingertips, gripping it tight at an intense juncture, placing a bookmark to carry on the next day – all these are things evoke emotions that only a print book can elicit. This is what actually enriches a reader’s entire experience and makes them connect better at a much deeper level.

Print books are classics – they have a lasting quality and a physical beauty to them. They have never and can never fail to please.






  • Divya

    You are right .. holding an actual book feels so much better than reading out of a digital device. Unfortunately, print books would become a rarity eventually. We’re already seeing the effects of ebooks on bookstore chains in the US. Only one major bookstore chain remains (barnes & nobles) now in the US. The end for print books is not near just yet. With the growth of digital media and the need to recognize a greener planet, it is a truth we must begin to embrace!

  • Aarti Iyer

    I do agree about the experience but at the moment I prefer e books. I can store so many at the same time without having to give any away, easy to transport many books when I travel; they don’t take too much space in my suitcase and my four year old can’t get my bookmarks!!!:)

  • Sahas

    Any given day I would prefer a hard binded print book. The feel of “YOUR” stack of books or a small library that you own, gives you some kind of satisfaction that any tablet with 1000s of ebooks may never be able to give.

  • Richa

    In future, we might have to take our kids to a museum to make them see how a print book looked like at our age. 😛

  • Amoolya Rao

    Agreed completely, I can’t deny the utility of e-books..I just think they compromise on the “experience” that a print books with it.. 🙂

  • P V Rajeev

    I published an E-book: INDIA – POLITICS, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY available at antrik.com. However the response has been poor so far