E-Books: Are They Better Than Paper Books?

Amy Yip, Editor in Chief

As the years progress, it’s become visible that technology is slowly eating away at everyday things. If I were to ask you when was the last time you picked up a paper book, you’d most likely say not often other than when you read at school. But even at school, sometimes books are digitized. But for frequent readers, are e-books better than regular paper books? 

Remember when your parents used to complain about how in their days all they had was huge textbooks and not phones to read? Well, when told this as a kid, I’d always argue that paper textbooks were way better than any textbook that I could access from the touch of my hand. Example being that I saw myself doing better in school during elementary school, when those big textbooks still existed. Ever since I’ve entered middle school, practically everything has changed to online. 

As a high school junior, you’re required to do tons of reading in and out of school. With our work being digital, reading from screens has always been extremely difficult for me. Personally, looking at a screen alone can lead to my procrastination kicking in. Let alone looking at hundreds of words is stressful enough, but with them being on a mobile screen is too much to take in for me. This causes me to lose focus and forget where I left off, forcing me to re-read the same excerpts multiple times. I wish I was kidding when I say I have to read the same text several times, but it’s the truth. 

On the other hand, I’ve also seen immense benefits when reading from your normal paper books, rather than the “new and improved” e-books. 

I’ve noticed that the information I absorb increases when looking over paper books, and less on e-books. I can’t tell you how many times I sit in my history class looking at the assigned text, then being asked questions about what I had just read. When these types of assignments come up, I hardly ever know what to write down because my brain can’t process anything when reading from a screen. But this wasn’t a problem for me when in elementary school using paper books, I’d breeze through any assignment given to me. 

The usage of screens with e-books has also proven to take tolls on your health, like your eye health for example. Within my freshman year of high school, I saw that my eyesight was deteriorating. As days passed, it became more and more difficult to read practically anything from afar, which has never been an issue for me up until then. After having my eyes checked, I had to be prescribed glasses. With my freshman year being during the time of quarantine, that means a ton of online work. The amount of digital work ended up being a main reason for my eye health. This would’ve never been an issue for me if online texts didn’t exist. 

For me, I’d highly recommend the often “slept” on paper books, rather than modern technological books. All in all, it’s really based on personal preference. But which one do you think is more effective?