Friday, October 21, 2011

Which are Better: E-Books or the Printed Kind?

The question is both complicated and astonishingly simple. We maintain that it’s also deeply personal. Which might be true for me may not hold true for you. Mashable doesn’t agree:
Ever wonder which method of reading is better for you -- electronic screen or printed text?

The answer: There is no difference.
Well, that’s a bit of an oversimplification. For one thing, it’s not the same. For another, it’s different. The experts would not agree:
“There are no disadvantages to reading from electronic reading devices compared with reading printed texts,” according to a study by Research Unit Media Convergence of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with MVB Marketing- und Verlagsservice des Buchhandels GmbH, operator of the ebook platform Libreka!.
Study or no, I’m holding fast on this one. What’s “better” in this instance is likely situational. Am I at my desk? In bed? On a beach? In the bath? And it’s personal. What do you like? What do you need?

In a classroom, I think the electronic version would always rock: give me random access so I can find what I need in haste! On vacation, e-books are clearly better: you can haul a whole library around the world with you if you want. But when I’m reading outside, under my favorite tree and a sudden rainshower shows up, I want don’t want to have to worry about delicate electronic parts. But, see? These things are personal, as well.

In the end, none of it matters. (And what if it did?) Here’s what does: we’re talking about reading. We’re talking about books. That’s the important thing. And the rest of it? That’s like Purolator or UPS: the method of delivery is clearly up to you, what matters is getting the package home in the way that makes the most sense to you.



Blogger LV Cabbie said...


There's something about holding a book in one's hands.
Of course, as I don't have an ereader, it's kinda hard for me to say but ebooks are great for me as I have five published and four more on the way!

Friday, October 21, 2011 at 6:00:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Burton Smith said...

Define "better." I'd rather read a story I like, rather than one I don't like. That's it.

What I read it on, who wrote it, whether it was purchased online or in a bookstore, published by Random House or some holed-up-in-his basement self-publisher -- none of it matters as much as whether the story is a good one or not. All these endless arguments and complaints about this format or that format, this vendor or that one, the self-centred championing of this or that?

Tiresome in the extreme.

And the more writers and wannabe writers indulge in it, the less likely I am to to want to seek out their fiction.

It's what's on the page -- or screen -- that counts. The rest of it is just white noise.

Friday, October 28, 2011 at 10:39:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

printed text and ebook format are good. But I will prefare ebooks. reason because time and stress to take me looking for favourit book is not conviniet like getting it from my cellphone or PC right in my office. And since I'm under a Boss who keeps me busy all the time, then I would like reading with my cellphone.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 5:36:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Le French Book Anne said...

I agree: a book is what you read, not what you read it on. When will this e-p dichotomy ever stop? It seems to me there is room out there for both, and any number of other ways to read a good story.

Friday, November 25, 2011 at 2:58:00 AM PST  

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