Should eBooks Replace Paper Texts?

Should eBooks Replace Paper Texts?

Emalie Esmail, Freshman Staff Writer

Technology has affected the world astronomically and is used daily in some way by all humans. Anything one would go out of their way to do in person can now be done with the click of a button. Endeavors such as shopping, working, studying, planning vacations, and immeasurably more can be accomplished. One of the biggest technological advancements has been the creation of electronic books. E-books were made solely for students to be more interactive and engaged in reading. They are books that can be discovered on any electronic device and are substantially less expensive than paper books. 

However, paper texts are still used much more frequently than e-books are. According to one study from NBC News in 2016, “92 Percent of Students Prefer Paper Books Over E-Books.” Electronic books may be more convenient, but physical books allow processing and understanding of the text to come easier to students because e-books are used mainly for skimming and reading quickly. Electronic books are much like reading Cliff Notes. A reader can not get the full detail of the text because he or she is more worried about understanding the main ideas. With the use of electronic books, students have more worries such as the device dying, and needing to be on a charger, or clicking out of the text accidentally and forgetting the page location. These aren’t the only reasons paper books should not be replaced. A lot of students may enjoy the feel and knowledge of knowing there is a physical book in front of them rather than just another screen.

According to a passage in Reading and the Body: The Physical Practice of Reading by Mc Laughlin, T. (2015) “The feel of the book to the hand, the smell of the paper, the haptic pleasure of manipulating the screen… reinforce and deepen the habit of reading.” If paper texts are used more frequently in schools, students will create a habit of using them more often. Hubbard High School senior Adrienne Elliot gave her opinion on this controversy saying,”The move to e-books is a Catch 22. I prefer to physically hold and read a book to annotate in the margins, but most of the time e-books have practice material I wouldn’t otherwise get.” Adrienne’s comment shows the benefit both e books and paper books give to readers. Both may be beneficial, but paper texts are far more beneficial than electronic, and more popular as well. Not to mention that paper books are much easier on the eyes and allow readers to take a break from electronic devices that they are on for the remainder of the day. When Hubbard High School sophomore Christina Badurik was asked which form of reading is better she said, “For me personally paper texts are better and more beneficial because I lose focus easily reading electronically.”

 Paper texts are so much more beneficial to students in so many ways. Therefore, electronic books should not replace paper texts in schools.