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Battle of the Books: E-Books vs Printed Books

For some, the feel of a book in their hands and turning the page adds to the enjoyment of reading. For others, the convenience of a small e-book reader like a Kindle overrides the need for a physical book.

If you’re on the fence, here are a few pros and cons to think about.

E-reader pros:

  • They can hold your entire library in one small device.
  • It is lighter than a hardcover book and about equal to a paperback.
  • A backlit e-reader makes it easy to read in bed and not disturb anyone.
  • Book prices tend to be equal to new printed books but can be much less for older titles.
  • You can change the font size and color of the type and background.
  • They come with a built-in dictionary and digital highlighter.
  • Studies show teenagers are more likely to read with an e-reader.
  • Research shows readers with dyslexia comprehend better with one.

E-reader cons:

  • You can’t lend, sell or donate an e-book.
  • Reading at night can cause eyestrain and disrupt sleep patterns.
  • They take more carbon to produce and can’t be recycled.

Printed book pros:

  • Printed books don’t need to be recharged.
  • Several studies suggest reading on paper is better for memory retention and focus.
  • Reading a printed book is a tactile experience. You feel it, smell it and remember it.
  • You can lend, donate or resell your books.
  • It’s much more fun to read a physical book with a child, turning the pages and looking at the pictures.

Printed book cons:

  • They take up more space than an e-reader.
  • They are not as portable as an e-reader.
  • They use more natural resources for printing.
  • They take up more space, needing a bookcase rather than a table.

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