Recently, e-book came out and developed rapidly. In 2012, Amazon released news that it sold more e-books than paperback books in the global market in 2011. Interestingly, it was the first time more e-books than paperbacks were sold on Amazon. Some people have predicted that one day e-books will completely replace paperback books. They saw the rapid increase of e-books’ selling and potential. Undeniably, today’s society has a tendency to prefer e-books. But this preference does not mean that e-books will completely replace paperback books one day.
Paperback books still are loved by many readers today. E-books will not completely replace paperback books. There are advantages of each one in most aspects. Those aspects are mobility, space, flexibility, and tactility. In most cases, e-books are better than paperback books. But paperback books still have their own advantages. Paperback books have their own incredible uniqueness that e-books cannot replace. In mobility, e-books exceed paperback books. Roso stated:
Carry your entire library in your pocket: With disk space quickly becoming a commodity, and the size of portable device hard drives getting bigger and bigger, it’s conceivable to think that you could have your entire library with you and have it accessible to your fingertips. (“E-book’s Advantages over print,” n. d. ) Readers can take e-books anywhere in a small hard driver. Paperback books are heavier, especially when a person holds many paperback books. People travel and move often. Travelling may bring some difficulties to carry paperback books.
But as men’s travelling increases, the transportation of goods also becomes easier. Transporting some paperback books become easier. It may cost some time and some money. The increase of man’s traveling and moving can also help paperback books transport. In space, e-books still are more convenient to store than paperback books. E-books can be stored on a disk driver (Roso, “E-book’s Advantages over print,” n. d. ). Thousands of books can be condensed in a disk driver and carried around all of the time. The whole public library can also be stored in a disk driver.
Storing the whole library in a disk driver would have been a fairy tale fifty years ago. Storing e-books became available and common for most people. Paperback books will take some room. A family library will take a lot of room to store. Fewer and fewer people will be willing to spend extra money on a huge room in their house for storing paperback books. In flexibility, e-books are still better than paperback books. Readers can adjust font. If a person is near-sighted he can make a big font of the text. E-books have many font options.
E-books can be stored in many ways. For example, e-books can be stockpiled, such as USB, computer, e-reader, I-pad, I-phone, or I-pod (Carnoy, “Kindle, Nooke lending site, ebook, fling goes away,” n. d. ). Multiple storage options provide many conveniences for readers to enjoy reading almost anywhere at any time. But paperback books are limited by the space and time in most cases. Paperback books are concrete and unchangeable. They also are limited to one font. The text of e-books is searchable and linkable. But paperback books do not have those functions.
The searchable and linkable function can bring many benefits to readers (Roso, “E-book’s Advantages over print,” n. d. ). They can use all e-books as database. In flexibility, e-books are far better. Paperback books cannot adjust in any cases. In tactility, paperback books have incredible value (“Paper or plastic? ebook reader vs. paper book,” n. d. ). Readers can feel paperback books. Readers do enjoy this kind of feeling in reading. People will never have this kind of feeling with e-books. Even some e-readers were designed to look like paperback books, such as with the Kindle.
Kindle used E-ink technology. Readers feel that they are reading paperback books. They proclaimed that E-ink will reduce most of eye-strain in reading. But Kindle still is an e-reader. Readers still cannot have the same feeling as reading paperback books from e-readers. Financially, e-books are more economic for readers. E-books can save a lot of money for readers. In material, e-readers do not consume wood and ink for making pages. E-books are environmentally friendly (Coeus, “Ebooks vs. paper books: the pros and cons,” n. d. ). An e-reader can store thousands of e-books.
Those thousands of e-books may consume many materials. E-books are much cheaper than paperback books. For example, a paper MacArthur’s Study Bible is about seventy dollars on Amazon. But e-book costs only about 20 dollars. It is also not expensive to buy an e-reader on Amazon. Kindle 4 is about 79 dollars. But in one e-reader, an owner can have thousands of books. It is much cheaper to have an e-reader and many e-books. Up to now, e-books seem better in all aspects. But those comparisons are still not enough to conclude that one day e-books will completely replace paperback books.
Paperback books have their own uniqueness on tactility. Their uniqueness makes paperback books never will be replaced by e-books. Someone may ask what the paperback books’ unique qualities are and how these can make paperback books stand safely in the battle with e-books. Here is a reader’s personal experience about her feeling toward paperback books and e-books. The reader still loves paperback books after comparing paperback books and e-books. Abell described her feeling, Paper books just feel good in your hands – even the best designed e-reader is a cold, lifeless steely contraption by comparison.
Paper books are also seen as ‘more personal,’ which was a comment that a number of people made on the previous post… I own a worn copy of the novel ‘Catch-22,’ which I have read a number of times since my University days – and no eBook could ever replace the memories it evokes whenever I pick that book up. How can eBooks match this in the future? They may never do, but perhaps we will find that the features I listed in my previous post assume greater nostalgic significance instead: highlighted text, notes. ( Abell, “5 reasons why e-books aren’t there yet,” n. d. ) She explained differences further in details:
And then they gave one more aspect in packaging. Bought poetry book for Kindle on iPod last week, but it turned out that the eBook was missing half of the image of an obscure painting that adorned the front and back covers of the paper edition. The eBook just had the front cover art, not the back cover art. This is one small example of how paper books can have a more beautiful package than eBooks. We could similarly point to book binding and typeface, both often carefully selected by publishing companies for their paper editions. It can make a big difference to one’s reading experience.
(Abell, “5 reasons why e-books aren’t there yet,” n. d. ) As her vivid description explains, paperback books have some unique qualities. The uniqueness is in tactility and origin. When a person reads a good paperback book, the time in reading will leave a deep mark on his memory. That memory includes his thoughts, feelings, circumstances, and emotions. But this is different from e-books. The machine-like e-readers do not have the capacity to give that kind of feeling. Most of the elements in reading were standardized and systemized. Reading should be a more personal hobby and experience.
Readers can maintain the memory of the thoughts and emotions from paperback books. Email and letters are similar with the relationship between e-books and paperback books. Email have been popularized and wildly used in America for several decades. Market of mail was greatly influenced and replaced by email. Receiving a letter is more meaningful than receiving an email. A handwritten letter with a family or landscape picture is much more precious than any kind of fancifully designed email in computer. That mail that can be collected is the evidence of caring and loving in all kinds of relationship.
The email may express some of the meanings in thoughts and words. It is convenient in many areas. But, email can never reach that level which a mail contains and expresses. Paperback books are also as unique as letters. Undeniably, e-books excel in many areas. E-book producers keep developing both technology and quality. But, e-books will never completely replace paperback books. The paperback book market may become smaller as e-book market grows. The uniqueness of paperback books is still unmatchable and irreplaceable. The Bible is an excellent example. People seldom use an I-pod or any kind of e-reader to read the Bible in church.
The Bible is specially separated for devotion, communication, and meditation of holy God. The multi-functioned e-reader cannot be the device for reading the Bible while offering games. Even though there is no game in e-reader, e-reader should not be the device for reading the Bible while reading novels. All in all, it is obvious that e-books cannot be completely replaced by paperback books because of the uniqueness of paperback books. E-books do have many advantages over paperback books. E-books will become better and better in the future. E-books cannot completely replace paperback books.