E-Books and Paper Books: Pros and Cons
The possibilities of what can be done with a smartphone are endless. Among these, reading is a major one. While paper books used to be the norm, electronic books, facilitated by devices like tablets, are now the trend. Instead of carrying heavy books, all you need is a tablet (or e-reader) or a smartphone, making it convenient and highly versatile, hence the preference. However, the weight and charm of a paper book cannot be ignored. Which style of reading do you prefer between ebooks and paper books?
Increase in Reading with Portable Devices
Thanks to the development of various IT devices, not just smartphones, it has become easier to access ebooks. They are popular among students and office workers due to their compact size and lightweightness, and as a result, ebook platforms are rapidly growing. In addition to reading on tablets, the demand for audiobooks, which you listen to, is also increasing, providing more diverse opportunities to access books.
Ebook Publication as a Distribution Route
Did you know that the bestseller ‘Dollargut Dream Department Store’ which sold over a million copies last year, started as an ebook? It was first released on an ebook platform and then published as a paper book after receiving rave reviews, and it is still loved by many. In this way, paper books published riding on the popularity of ebooks have become bestsellers, and popular authors are actively utilizing this method. Representative ebook platforms such as Millie’s Library and Ridibooks are considered advantageous in attracting the interest of younger generations and have become a major channel for gauging reader responses.
Increase in Ebook Purchases Due to COVID-19
With face-to-face activities becoming impossible due to COVID-19, the demand for ebooks has greatly increased. Just as many people are watching movies on Netflix and other OTT platforms instead of going to theaters, more people are looking for ebooks through online platforms instead of libraries or bookstores. As the number of libraries closing due to COVID-19 increased, the National Central Library also expanded its domestic and overseas databases to 49 types so that ebooks, newspapers, magazines, and videos can be viewed at home.
The Charm of Paper Books
Some people talk about the ‘end of the paper book,’ but the charm of a paper book still exists. This is due to the feelings and atmosphere experienced when seeing and touching a book with your hands, and the act of reading a book itself being imprinted in your brain. For these people, the government is also focusing on distributing more paper books.
Preference for Paper Books Still High
While the number of people reading paper books is decreasing as the forms of publication diversify, including ebooks and audiobooks, the demand for those using ebooks and audiobooks has not exploded. Those who prefer paper books cited the warmth and comfort of paper books, the ability to make notes, and the texture and smell as the main reasons.
How to Properly Utilize Ebooks?
Ebooks tend to cause more eye fatigue than paper books, resulting in faster drops in concentration. Therefore, to properly utilize ebooks, you should start with books that are easy to read on ebooks and develop reading habits. Among the many types of books, ‘essays’ can be understood without deep thought, making them suitable for digital devices where concentration is difficult. If you are starting to read with ebooks, why not start with easier books?
Ebooks Increase Eye Fatigue
When reading ebooks on a smartphone or tablet, it is good to keep the distance between your eyes and the screen at more than 16 inches and take a break every 30 minutes. This is because eye fatigue can be exacerbated when reading ebooks compared to reading paper books. There is also research that shows that eye fatigue can be up to nine times worse when reading ebooks compared to when reading paper books.
Increasing Ebook Syndrome
Ebooks are popular among college students and office workers who commute long distances. If you hold an ebook in one hand for a long time, you may experience wrist pain, and also tension in the muscles around the neck, shoulders, and waist due to maintaining the same posture for a long time. This is called ‘ebook syndrome,’ and to prevent it, you should regularly stretch your stiff neck, shoulders, and waist gently. If your arms and legs become numb when you lower your head, you may suspect a neck disc.
Audiobooks are also Growing Rapidly
Before getting into ebooks, it might be a good idea to start with audiobooks. Audiobooks come in various forms, such as ‘excerpt reading’ where only a certain part is read by a voice actor, and ‘complete reading’ where the entire content is read. Audiobooks are a service that allows modern people who don’t have time to read books to read while doing other things, making it easy for even those who were not interested in reading to get interested in books.
Paper Books VS Ebooks, Which Helps Memory?
According to recent research, there is a difference in memory between paper books and ebooks. Reading paper books has been shown to induce more brain activity when remembering information. This brain activation was more active when reading paper books than ebooks, and it was revealed that it showed more activity in the hippocampus, known to be important for memory, and visualization.
By. Shin Young Jeon