Posted on 05/06/2019 at 04:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

If you’ve stayed true to print, now may be the time to discover the many advantages of e-books, including portability, affordability, availability, and more!

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The Advantages of E-Books & Why They’re on the Rise

“Lovers of print are simply confusing the plate for the food.”

— Douglas Adams

There is (and will likely always be) a debate among readers regarding book format. 

Some readers are print purists, refusing to give up their paperbacks and hardcovers no matter how crowded their bookshelves may get.

Others are digital devotees, believing that the days of print have long since passed.  

And quite a few fall somewhere in the middle, seeing no reason to devote all of their time to one format over another.  

Though digital versions of our beloved print titles have actually been around for decades, it’s only in recent years that we’ve seen the real rise of e-books.

Hop on a bus, take a walk through the park, or visit a college library and you’ll undoubtedly see a number of people enjoying a digital title.

Why?

Well, because no matter what side you take in the great book format debate (if either), the advantages of e-books are too great in number and compelling in nature to ignore. 

With the introduction of e-books, people have been given a new medium through which to consume the written word. And isn’t that what really matters?

Given that e-books are our bread and butter here at The Fussy Librarian, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of the many advantages of e-books — not to dissuade readers from reading in print, but to encourage them to read in digital as well. 

Affordability

Reading is a fantastic hobby that offers a wide variety of benefits, but if you’re not careful, it can turn into an expensive pastime — especially if you’re one who can’t help but buy new hardcovers from your favorite authors as soon as they become available…

However, one of the most noteworthy advantages of e-books is that they tend to be a little easier on your wallet than their print counterparts. 

Though e-readers may require a larger investment, it won’t take long for the money you save purchasing e-books to make up for it.

Plus, you don’t actually have to invest in an e-reader. Instead, you can turn your iPhone or iPad into an e-reader with the Kindle app. Or, you can simply use the Kindle Cloud Reader on your computer

No matter how you choose to consume your e-books (via e-reader, computer, smartphone, or tablet), you can find tons of great titles online for a reasonable price. Sometimes you can even get e-books from new or indie authors free!

Portability

Have you ever wanted to take a hardcover with you somewhere but had to settle for another title because you didn’t have enough space?

Have you ever found yourself with a sore back after carrying a bag full of books all day?   

You don’t have to worry about either of these scenarios when you have a digital copy saved on an easy-to-transport device. Portability is hands down one of the greatest advantages of e-books.

As long as you have an e-reader or mobile device, you can take along any title you desire! In fact, you’re only limited by your device’s storage space. 

Plus, e-books are not only a convenient option when it comes to saving space but also a practical option when it comes to saving yourself future back pain…

Availability

When a popular author releases a new book, it’s not uncommon for the title to sell out quickly. And if you’re unable to place your order fast enough, you may end up waiting weeks just to get your print copy. 

That’s another one of the advantages of e-books — they never go out of print.

In some cases, e-books may be temporarily unavailable until licenses can be renegotiated; however, most of the time you’re free to purchase and download the books you want whenever you want. 

No more waiting around for your local bookstore to replenish its stock — unless, of course, the title is so special that you need a print copy too…

Storage

Unless you have a magical room with a storage capacity rivaling that of Mary Poppins’ carpetbag, chances are there’s a limit to how many print copies you can keep at home…

With e-books, on the other hand, you can house thousands of titles on a single device.

No matter how large your collection grows, the amount of physical space it takes up remains the same!

Imagine being able to cut down on clutter and reduce the amount you spend on additional shelving. E-books allow you to do just that.

And the best part? Since lack of storage becomes a non-issue when you convert to e-books, that’s one less reason to talk yourself out of buying that title you’ve been eyeing…

Learning Opportunity

Let’s be clear — books in all formats provide readers with the chance to learn and grow. However, one of the advantages of e-books is that it’s often easier to do so.

With most e-reader programs, you have access to tools that allow you to underline sentences, highlight paragraphs, and add notes in comment boxes.

Though you can do the same thing manually with print copies, many readers don’t like marking up their paperbacks or hardcovers. 

E-books let you dissect the text you’re reading without making any permanent changes.

Further, the majority of e-readers have built-in dictionaries, so looking up unfamiliar words becomes a much simpler task. 

Environmental Impact

For eco-conscious readers, the fact that e-books are a somewhat “greener” option than their print counterparts is a great benefit. 

Unlike paperbacks and hardcovers, e-books are digital, which means no trees are cut down and processed into paper to make them. 

The more you purchase digital copies versus print copies, the less you’ll contribute to pollution resulting from the manufacturing and shipping of physical books.

Plus, the e-books you buy won’t eventually end up in a landfill (which, unfortunately, happens despite our best efforts to give books a second home or to recycle them). 

Takeaway

It’s true there are some things you miss when you switch to e-books — the feeling of turning a page, the scent of ink on paper, the joy of perusing a bookstore’s shelves… 

However, it’s safe to say that the many advantages of e-books tip the scales a bit.

If you’re not ready to commit to digital completely, that’s okay. After all, you’re not restricted to a single format!

But if you’ve never even tried to read an e-book before, there’s no better time than the present.   

Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: E-reader, Reading

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