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eBooks vs. physical books: Which is best?

eBooks vs. physical books: Which is best?

by Loren Howarth

Which is better – eBooks or physical books? Here’s a list of pros and cons to weigh in where you stand on the debate!

Pros of eBooks:

  • Convenience: Gone are the days of carrying heavy textbooks everywhere! With technology, you can now access your textbooks from any device, anywhere, anytime
  • Search text: One of the handiest features is that you can use the search key to find a particular topic or quote to find a page number, pick up where you left off or only read what you need to.
  • Yours in an instant: Enjoy the instantaneity of eBooks because as soon you pay, its yours, without any shipping and handling fees!
  • Eco-Friendly: eBooks aren’t made from trees. So, they cost less and have lower environmental impact. It’s a win-win situation!

Cons of eBooks: 

  • Reading off a screen: After an extended period of time and an imbalance of lighting, eBooks can cause your eyes to strain and hurt.
  • It’s just not the same: eBooks simply aren’t the same as holding a paper-book in your hands. Nothing will beat the anticipation of flicking over the page to see what happens next!
  • Costly: You will have to buy an E-reader and while there are cheaper options available, it’s still a financial investment to consider.

Pros of physical books: 

  • No battery: If you’re running late to Uni and haven’t charged your E-reader, it’s going to be a bit difficult to access textbooks. But with paper books, this dilemma is easily averted.
  • Easy to share: Sharing university textbooks is easy with physical books, as you can just pass it along with no hassle. This is not possible with eBooks as Digital Rights Management prevents people from lending books.
  • Forever: Books are here to stay. Hanging onto your textbooks may even be useful for reference or guidance later on in your career.

Cons of physical books: 

  • Heavy: The biggest con is definitely the weight. You’re probably already carrying around your laptop and snacks, but then textbooks on top of that equals one heavy bag.
  • Out-of-stock: If a book is popular or a lot of students need it for a subject, it is likely to go out of stock. This makes it pretty difficult to get your hands on it and you may have to wait weeks until it’s in front of you.
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