Dear LA Teacher,
As a high school student with college aspirations I’m thinking about purchasing an e-book reader. What are the advantages and disadvantages of print books over e-books?
Dear LA Student,
Electronic books, or e-books require a device like the Kindle, Nook, or iPad. Files are downloaded from the Internet onto the e-book reader. These files, or e-books, are a lot cheaper than the traditional print book.
E-books have advantages. First, like on a computer, you can zoom in or out of text making it larger or smaller dependent on your personal needs. E-books also offer additional multimedia functions limited to human imagination. For example, if you are reading a non-fiction book, your e-book may have links to other sources on the Internet helping you with your research. There are also books that have voice capabilities so a small child can read along with the voice helping him improve his reading skills. Finally, e-books are easy to store dependent on the memory capability of your e-book reader.
The disadvantages of e-books are access to the Internet or computer to upload them. Also, lighting on some devices may cause eyestrain. Finally, they all require batteries.
Print books have the distinct advantage of not needing batteries, but can prove to be expensive when purchased at bookstores or on Amazon. However, you can find inexpensive books at yard sales or at Goodwill stores.
The disadvantage of print books is that in order to make them publishers kill trees and they require a huge amount of space for storage.
Two years ago my daughters bought me my first e-book reader, a Kindle, for my birthday. I love it because I can increase the print size so I can read while working out on a Stairmaster at the gym. Kindle books are cheaper, too. For example, my novel, The Legend of Koolura, is available in print and in Kindle format. The Kindle version costs only $.99 while the print version will set you back $12.99.
I still belong to Book of the Month Club and purchase print books all the time. However, I’m finding myself reading more e-books than print books because they are easier to transport on my Kindle, I can enlarge the print for my aging eyes, and when I need to locate information in an e-book, it’s a lot easier to find than in a print book.