The eBook Debate

In recent years, the Internet has offered the world more than anyone could ever imagine but the inventions seem to keep coming! From the global phenomenon of the search engine like Google and Yahoo to social networking sites and online shopping it is hard to imagine a world without this lifesaving wonder!

One of these digital inventions first surfaced a few decades ago in 1971 with Michael Hart’s idea of an eBook. Project Gutenberg was founded by Hart and is one of the earliest and longest-lasting online literary projects.

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“An eBook is an electronic book, one you read digitally on your computer, laptop screen or on devices called ebook readers.”

The most common format of an eBook is a PDF or HTML file easily transferable onto different devices for smart travel and use. This invention has taken a while to create public demand as well as satisfy that of the customer. The smaller the tablet the more enjoyable the read and it is only now in present day that the eBook is at a rapidly growing rate with thousands of books available for purchase and reading online.

Pros of an eBook

  • They’re easily readable. Most readers offer zoom functions, letter resizing, and so forth.
  • They’re easily portable. You can carry multiple books on one device.
  • They’re much more environmentally friendly. You don’t have to kill a few trees for each book, and let’s not even talk about the ink. Recycling only goes so far.
  • Note-taking is much more powerful, and the notes you write can be found and referenced quickly and easily. And they don’t have to be permanent.
  • Lighting conditions essentially become meaningless. Many readers incorporate display lighting allowing you to read whenever and wherever you like.

Cons of an eBook

  • Nasty software bugs in the reader can cause it to freeze up.
  • They’re not very robust. Cannot spill anything on them, easily scratched, not ideal to drop etc.
  • They’re not readily available, and format wars are making the decision to buy a reader very difficult. Will you go for the Amazon one, and buy books (only) there? Or the Sony?
  • The pricing model hasn’t been worked out yet, causing some major discrepancies.
  • Eye strain and RSI- long periods spent in front of a computer are healthy for nobody.
  • Power- On average laptops last up to 4-6 hours not plugged in.
  • Portability- Why lug a laptop around if you can simply carry a book?

Another feature on eBook selling sites is their top rated books listed generally from 1 to 100 providing readers with options to join the band wagon and read a best seller that most of their friends will be reading too.

Top rated books for 2012 on Amazon's website downloaded onto their reader 'Kindle'

Top rated books for 2012 on Amazon’s website downloaded onto their reader ‘Kindle’

A wide debate has emerged comparing the two mediums to establish the most enjoyable outcome. One thing is for sure; hard paper books and eBooks both provide text and allow you to read a book. The other fuss is made over practicality at the reader’s expense, it then becomes a choice of preference.

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