Wondering why ebooks will never replace real books? Read this Penlighten post, as it will give you reasons why real books are indispensable, and cannot be replaced by ebooks.
Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators. –
Due to technological advancement and rising environmental concerns, the popularity of ebooks is growing at a fast rate. However, it may not affect a reader’s love for real books at all. If you are thinking why ebooks will never replace real books, well, there are several reasons for it.
Imagine, that on a laid back Sunday afternoon, you decide to go to a coffee shop with your iPad to read the ebook version of an all-time classic. You sit at a secluded table in the corner and start savoring the story with a wafting cup of coffee. In less than 10 minutes, you realize that you forgot to charge your iPad and the battery is about to give up. You search everywhere for a charger but are not able find it. Alas, the iPad gets switched off and so does your ebook. At that exact moment, you wish that it would have been so much better if you had got a real book, instead of an electronic version of it.
Over-dependence on technology is just one of the many reasons that make real books indispensable. Here are few points that will help you in understanding why ebooks will never replace real books.
Owning a Book
When you own a real book, it becomes part of your personality. The sense of actually being the owner of a real book is far more satisfying than owning an ebook. Whether it is a new book or a used one bought from the secondhand bookstore, it feels nice when you know that you ‘own it completely’. While ebooks are also bought by you, they never really give the same kind of satisfaction. Also, books piled neatly on a bookshelf in your house speak volumes about your taste and yearning for knowledge.
Experience of a Real Book
The experience of a book cannot be replaced by an ebook. Books are an experience in themselves, while ebooks only seem like mere documents. You can hold a real book in your hands and smell its pages. Some books may have very attractive covers, while others might be first editions which make them a collector’s item. The feeling of actually seeing and touching the glossy colorful images in a real book is different and cannot be replicated by an ebook. Sometimes, the sound of turning a new crisp page feels like music to a book lover’s ears.
As you know, too many copyright issues are involved in digital media, so people still prefer to read the good old books. Also, downloading ebooks from a non-trustworthy source can lead to legal action against you. Not only this, you will not be able to loan your ebooks to others easily due to the various Digital Rights Management (DRM) issues. Even if you have a Kindle ebook, you will not be able to share it with other devices if they are above 5 in number, and not connected to your Amazon account. On the other hand, you can freely buy and share real books.
Easy to Read
Think about the comfort level when you are reading an ebook as compared to an actual paper book. You will be more at ease while reading a real book than an ebook, as the latter may start straining your eyes. Also, you can read a book in any position; while sitting, lying down, or even while traveling.
Have you tried reading an ebook on your smartphone or iPad? Just when you are about to get to the end of a mystery, your phone will ring several times or someone will ‘ping’ you on a messenger. Your link and concentration will go for a toss. It may distract your attention from the ebook, and even make you forget about it. Now, imagine reading a real book and getting completely lost in its story. Even if you are distracted for the time being from a real book, it will engage you back once you see it. This may not happen in case of an ebook.
Durability of Real Books
Books have a great shelf life and are more durable than electronic gadgets like smartphones, laptops, iPads, tablets or Kindle devices, which are required for reading ebooks. Also, they can lose power and even have other problems which may disrupt your flow of reading.
Limitations Due to Technology
It may so happen that as technology progresses, the older versions of your ebooks may not be compatible with the new and updated software. This may not allow you to open the ebook easily. You will have to constantly upgrade your ebooks or buy the versions that are compatible with the various updated software. Real books don’t crash because of viruses, nor do they need virus scans from time to time; however, your ebooks can blank out because of a virus attack anytime.
Buying and Selling of Books
You have the liberty of buying used real books, which is not possible in case of ebooks. Books talk a lot about their previous owners. You can come to know about the reader’s connection with the book by observing it. You can see the markings of the important sentences made by someone. It talks about their thoughts and aspirations. Sometimes, you can see an old date, message, or name of a person. At times, a dog-eared page speaks that the previous owner stopped reading the book on exactly that very page. You can also resell your books. This experience is not possible in case of an ebook. They will never become books that have a piece of history attached to them.
Apart from the romanticism attached with a real book, it is extremely cost-effective when compared to an ebook. All the ebook readers require maintenance and repair from time to time, and are not as inexpensive to acquire as actual books. Also, if you want to resell a book, you can do that easily and get some amount against it.
Sense of Achievement
One look at the book and you come to know how many pages more to go before you finish reading it. Looking at the number of pages you have finished reading, you get encouraged to increase your pace. However, an ebook does not motivate you to complete a book in a similar way.
One may not be bothered if you spill coffee on a real book, lose it, or if it gets stolen. Now think what will happen if all this happens to the electronic gadget which is housing your ebook? There will be a panic attack. Imagine how exciting it is to grab the first edition of a book or wait in line to get the autograph of your favorite author.
While there are several benefits of ebooks, like they are easier to carry, store, environment friendly, etc., they just do not connect with the readers or engage them in a way like the real books do. Here’s hoping that real books survive the intense competition that they are facing from ebooks. Else, there is a possibility that future generations will not even get a chance to relish the euphoric feeling that one gets on a rainy day-sipping coffee by the window and reading his favorite book for hours.