Ebooks versus paper books, which is better?

When one mentions books, particularly book formats, there are two camps for book lovers either you an eBook person or you prefer paper books. Usually, I will let you have your option and just stay quiet but since this is the environmental month. I decided to weigh in and give my 10c worth.

Why go for paper:

Paper is easy, you go to your favourite bookstore, extra brownie points if you go to a second-hand bookstore or a library. Get the book you want and immediately start reading it on the taxi on the way home. When you get home, when you finished the book, you can let your mom read the book or someone else without it impacting your ability to read another book.

The cons of paper:

Printing of books is expensive, from sourcing the paper to getting the ink. Ink which is extremely expensive and well not always the most pleasant of ways of sourcing something. This makes books expensive before they even left the print shop and everyone involved in making the book has already been paid.

Once the book leaves it often has to be shipped from the printers across the world and from the harbours to your hometown. This makes the carbon footprint of the book in your hand, huge.

If the book doesn’t sell or there is a recall, all the books are then gathered up and destroyed. Yeah, you heard right, if a book doesn’t sell, instead of donating to schools and libraries, the books get destroyed. Yes, they land up making paper again but they still destroying something that has already impacted the environment.

Why go for ebooks:

Ebooks are some of the biggest sellers online, you can get almost everything from textbooks to cooking books online and store them in the same place(device). For the size of a fairly small book you can store roughly 1000 books physically and countless in the cloud. Ebooks also allow you to get a hold of books that are hard to get a hold of in South Africa, or skip the queues and lie on the couch book shopping.

You can use your tablet to access the biggest ebook stores and read your books in full colour or if you looking for the super light and long-lasting battery, readers have increasingly good battery life.

The cons of ebooks:

They use internet and electricity to work. Granted once the book is loaded onto your device unless you delete them, it can be a problem during load-shedding and the battery dies on you.

It is very difficult to lend someone else the book to read unless you share your account with them or you don’t mind being parted from our device for too long. It just isn’t worth it.

Which one do I prefer?

Well it depends, I prefer reading ebooks because my area where I can store books is tiny. it is mostly my DIY or art books that get shelf space. That and books that I am very sentimental about. The rest all goes to my ereader since it takes the least space and I can easily throw my ereader in my bag when I need to catch the train.

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