Advantages and Disadvantages of E-books Over Books

E-books have been around for a few years and even though printed books are still very popular E-books are becoming more popular as well. To be able to read E-books people need to have a special device called the E-reader or a tablet. Printed books do not seem relevant anymore, but there are still a lot of people who hold on to or prefer the traditional books. Some people expected the arrival of the e-book to replace the use of printed books.

It can be noted that this is not true. Although the E-book seems to have a lot of advantages, there are also disadvantages when it comes to E-books.

One of the main disadvantage according to Tara Entwistle-Clark (2013), Tian Xiang Yu (2008) and Scott (2013) is that the reader needs an electronic device, like an E-reader or tablet. As with all technology it can break. Readers need to be far more careful with their E-readers than with books. One fall can break the screen of an E-reader, making it hard to read whereas a book can still be read.

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Scott (2013) also states that a second problem with needing an E-reader is that not every E-book can be downloaded on every E-reader.

E- readers may not support every E-book format, this causes readers to be limited in the books they are able to read. A last problem with using an electronic device according to Tara Entwistle-Clark (2013), Tian Xiang Yu (2008) and J. Perrine (2010) is, when working with an electronic device readers have to keep in mind that it needs to be charged.

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When the battery dies, readers cannot read until they charge the device. According to blogger, J. Perrine (2010), not only the fragile state or the incompatibility issues of E-readers is a problem, it also costs a lot of money to purchase an E-reader.

The cost of an E-reader varies from proximally 50 to over 200 Euros. Even though E-books can be read on a laptop or tablet, it still is a very expensive purchase. Another disadvantage according to Scott (2013) and Tian Xiang Yu (2008) is staring at a screen all day. This can cause the readers to hurt their eyes, which leads to tiredness, headaches and blurred vision. A screen also does not have the same resolution as print on paper. Finally, reading an E-book also causes the experience of reading a book to change say Tara Entwistle-Clark (2013) and Jill Harness (n.d. ).

Readers cannot flip through E-books easily, which makes it hard to go back and look something up. Not only that takes away from the experience but also the smell and feel of holding a printed book. The work that goes into book covers cannot be portrayed the same on a screen and opening a brand new book, cracking the spine is an experience an E-book can never give. On the other hand there are also advantages. The most obvious one is that E-readers are easy to take with you. Readers do not have to carry around a whole stack of books when they go on holiday.

Readers only need to take one device that can carry hundreds of books and a charger to their destination. No more heavy bags and back pains (Tara Entwistle-Clark, 2013, Linda McMaken, 2012 and Jill Harness, n. d. ). In addition not only on the go this saves space according to Tara Entwistle-Clark (2013) and Jill Harness (n. d), but also in the reader’s home. Readers do not need large bookcases full of books anymore, this is especially a great advantage when one does not have a lot of space in their home. It makes a small home look more organized and with only one device readers have their whole library of books with them.

Next, E-books themselves cost less than printed books and especially many English E-books can be found for free online. According to J. Perrine (2010), Linda McMaken (2012) and Michael Pastore (2008) this great availability and easy accessibility of E-books online can be a good motivation for people, especially children, to read more. The younger generation spends a lot of time behind a screen already and might be more likely to read a book on screen than a printed one. Reading books becomes easier, when the reader does not have to go out of the house to go buy a book or wait until their order arrives at home.

They are one click away from getting a book and can start reading almost immediately. Michael Pastore (2008) and Jill Harness (n. d. ) write that another advantage is the fact that readers can customize front size, front color, front style and page size. This makes reading easier for people who have sight disabilities. For example, they can choose for a larger front size, which makes it easier for them to read. Some E-reader screens can be lit, which makes reading in the dark possible. E-books also give the opportunity to use multimedia, like adding sounds, moving images and links to internet pages.

This way reading becomes a more interactive activity, making it again more appealing for a younger audience. Finally, the environment will benefit from the use of E-books as there is no use of paper and since readers can download E-books right from their home there is also no need to transport books to a store. This results in saving transportation costs and lowers the air contamination that comes with shipping books across the world. In addition it also saves space, as there is no need any more for depots or stores to store books. E-books are stored on the internet after all.

(Michael Pastore, 2008 and Jill Harness, n. d.) In conclusion E-readers break easily and readers need to be more careful as not to break them. Readers need to keep in mind that not every E-book is compatible with every E-reader and that E-readers are expensive. Readers might get negative side effects from staring at a screen all day. Finally reading E-books does not give readers the same experience as reading a printed book. In contrast E-books are good for the environment, no transportation or paper needed. Readers can easily take many books with them, only needing an E-reader and it saves space in the reader’s home.

Another great advantages is that E-books are cheaper than printed books and easier accessibly. Front sizes of E-books can be customized to the readers liking and they give the opportunity to use multimedia. This way E-books can reach a bigger audience. Finally we can say that E-books have a lot of advantages and disadvantages over books and it is up to the reader which they prefer.


  1. Entwistle-Clark, T. (2013). Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Readers. Examiner. com. Retrieved January 16, 2014 from:
  2. Harness, J. (n. d. ). The Advantages of eBooks Versus Traditional Books. Online-bookstores-review. toptenreviews. com. Retrieved January 16, 2014 from: html
  3. McMaken, L. (2012). E-Books Vs. Print Books. Investopedia. com. Retrieved January 16, 2014 from: http://www. -print-books.aspx
  4. Pastore, M. (2008). 30 Benefits of Retrieved January 17, 2014 from: http://epublishersweekly. html
  5. Perrine, J. (2010). E-books and reading devices: advantages and disadvantages. E-booksandreaders. blogspot. nl. Retrieved January 16, 2014 from: http://e-booksandreaders. blogspot. nl/p/advantages-and-disadvantages. html
  6. Scott. (2013). Disadvantages of E-books. Sunflowerbookfest. com. Retrieved January 16, 2014 from: http://www. sunflowerbookfest. com/disadvantages-of-e-books
  7. Yu, T. X. (2008). Disadvantages of Retrieved January 16, 2014 from: http://ezinearticles. com/? Disadvantages-of-E-books&id=1324883

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Advantages and Disadvantages of E-books Over Books. (2016, Sep 08). Retrieved from

Advantages and Disadvantages of E-books Over Books

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