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Are e-readers better than printed books?
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Printed books do not suffer from the technological issues e-readers do

Unlike e-books, printed text will never have any technological issues. There are never any download issues, technical glitches, or formatting issues with physical books. Physical copies of books allow for a smooth and enriching reading experience.

The Argument

Reading books is a pleasure for both the old and the young. However, with the increasing pace of life in general, and technological advancements in particular, this pleasure is slowly shifting from the physical to the virtual. While initially, this solution may seem favorable to one and all, it has its own set of problems that are much more demanding than those associated with physical books. Because everything with e-readers is connected to the internet, a working connection is a must. However, on account of fluctuations in network signals, a stable connection cannot be guaranteed which may cause the device to lag and downloading of e-books to be interrupted. Furthermore, almost all reputed internet sites that sell e-books require one to create an account and save one’s financial details which is an additional hassle and a security vulnerability that has to be dealt with. Those who are less adept with technology may find it difficult to keep up with all the online requirements of the device, along with other features such as auto-rotate, curating libraries, and software updates. Physical books do not have to contend with issues such as a low battery or internet connectivity. Moreover, there are no financial security vulnerabilities when it comes to physical books which is an added bonus. Anyone can partake in the simple joy of flipping a page while being immersed in the narrative of the book. Furthermore, the rise of e-publishing has also seen a rise in piracy of literature. Without suitable encryption and compression, books can be pirated within a matter of hours, much like music and film: 'Less than twenty-four hours after Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released, there was a free, pirated version available on the Internet.' [1] Before the e-reader literature was not digitized and the physical book benefited from it's distance from the digital world.

Counter arguments

While it may be true that physical copies do not have any technical difficulties associated with them, they do have certain issues that accompany them. Paperbacks need to be available at the store for a reader to be able to purchase it, which is not always the case. When ordered through online shopping sites, there is a possibility of damaged books being sent. These issues are completely avoided with an e-reader, where they can be purchased and downloaded all in a matter of minutes. An additional feature that is part of an e-reader is the facility of an in-built dictionary that allows the reader to look up difficult words immediately.[2] In the case of a physical book, it would require the reader to flip through a dictionary which breaks the connection they shared with the book.



[P1] E-readers can have technological issues that prevent people reading. [P2] There are less barriers to reading physical books.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 26 May 2021 at 20:57 UTC

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