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Ebooks: Advancement or Technological Hinderance?

Pros and Cons of the latest book worm and educational fad

Ebooks+vs+paper+books
Ebooks vs paper books

Ebooks vs paper books

Photo by Hope Stratman

Photo by Hope Stratman

Ebooks vs paper books

Hope Stratman and Alaina Anderson

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Making Reading More Convenient

Ebooks offer substantial benefits, do not reject  progress

Hope Stratman 

The fact that you’re reading this newspaper article on a screen goes to show the extent to which technology has replaced paper. It’s no question really: in our culture, reading from a screen has become as commonplace as a cup of coffee in the mornings.

However, certain technological advancements in this area – particularly ebooks replacing regular books – have left some wondering whether it would be better to just stick with paper. And while I can appreciate some healthy skepticism, in the case of ebooks the skeptics are wrong. As an avid user of both paper and electronic books, I can attest — the benefits of electronic books far outweigh the drawbacks.

To begin, ebooks enhance reading and make it more convenient. Ebooks have a function in which one can search for keywords; this can help readers find the section that they are looking for much faster than if they were using a paper book. In addition, most ebooks easily define words and allow for annotation, which further enhances the reading experience.

Ebooks are helpful from a practical standpoint as well. Lugging around weighty paper books is an enormous annoyance for all readers, particularly students; weighty backpacks can sometimes cause back pain. In fact, a study by the University of California Riverside has linked heavy backpacks to long-term back pain. Ebooks eliminate this problem.

Environmentally, too, ebooks are the way to go. Ebooks are playing a part in helping our generation cut back on unnecessary waste by removing the need for paper textbooks. According to Time Magazine, humans cut down 15 billion trees each year; replacing paper books with ebooks would help to cut down our enormous footprints on the planet and preserve our resources.

Now, ebook skeptics have claimed that ebook usage hinders focus since the devices in which the ebooks reside also house apps, games and the internet. However, this isn’t a legitimate reason not to use the ebooks. Most devices allow notifications to be turned off; this cuts down on these distractions and allows students to ignore these distractions.

Concerns have also arisen over whether reading from screens keeps readers awake at night. Fortunately, one can remedy the issue by simply choosing not to read from an ebook immediately before bed; if readers are smart about their reading habits, the device’s effect on sleep is a minor inconvenience rather than a major bother. In addition, technology companies such as Apple have addressed these concerns by creating Night Mode on their devices, which changes the colors of the screen display and makes the screen easier on the eyes at night, allowing for a better transition between device-usage and sleep.

Electronic books, though they have been received with some doubt, are truly the better route for reading; their convenience, practicality and overall usefulness cannot be denied, and these factors far outweigh any disadvantages.

Be a wise reader — choose ebooks.

Making Reading A Chore

Electronic books are a waste of time

Alaina Anderson

Technology is constantly evolving and producing products that usually improve life and make ordinary processes easier. However, there is an exception: electronic books. Ebooks are technological setbacks.

The concept of an ebook sounds appealing. No paper is necessary, so it saves the trees. Also, you have access to almost any book ever published due to the number of books that are electronically available. However, they are colossal mistakes. Ebooks affect your comprehension, keep you awake and distract readers.

Physical copies of books improve reading comprehension. According to a study done by the psychology school at the University of Leicester in England, students who read paper copies seemed to recall the information after initial testing. However, those who read ebooks have to read the information multiple times before being able to recall it from memory. If I read a novel, I don’t want to read it 20 times before I can remember what actually happened.

Ebooks have also been linked to sleep deprivation. According to a Harvard Medical School Study, the light emitted by ebooks causes readers to be less tired before bed and take longer to fall asleep than reading a physical book. I can safely say that I have never opened a book in order to keep me awake, and I don’t plan on starting now.

Reading on an electronic device poses new distractions. Ebook devices often have the capability to surf the web and to download games or other various applications. With these options, it promotes multitasking, which affects the reader’s ability to focus on the material. Because I’m often reading for a purpose, I need to be able to focus.

Ebooks are a waste of readers’ time. They negatively affect a reader’s ability to recall information, they cause bad sleep habits and they promote a lack of focus due to the ability of multitasking. If you’re going to take time out of your busy schedule to read, be smart about it and read physical copies.

 

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Flightline Staff

The publications of the Skutt Catholic Flightline aim to inform, challenge, and entertain members of the school's community and beyond. Through a daily online publication, a quarterly student life magazine, and a broadcast component, students of the SCHS Flightline aim to use their diverse skills, backgrounds, and connections to not only develop their own journalistic experiences, but also to expose audiences to new ideas, to the surrounding community, and to the relevant information they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Kudos, comments, criticisms, or corrections, can be directed to [email protected]

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