Why Printed Books Will Always Trump Electronic
Have you dusted your bookshelf lately? Wait, did you just say, “What bookshelf?” Please don’t tell me you’ve shipped off all your books to the local thrift store because you just bought a brand new Nook. Those e-books might seem cool and all, but printed books haven’t lost their charm yet. And they never will. Here are four very important reasons why printed books will always (always!) trump electronic ones.
They Impress Your Houseguests
When guests come over your house to visit, there’s no question about it – they’re going to look around your house and judge you by it. They’re going to assess its cleanliness and check out your décor. There’s always something impressive about a bookshelf (or bookshelves) packed with books. It makes you seem smart, and the titles themselves also can impress your guests and tell them something about your interests. If your only books are the electronic kind, your houseguests won’t see them, and it’s not so subtle to say, “Here, scroll through my Kindle library while I fix you a drink!”
You Can Share Them
One of the best things about a printed book is that it only has to be bought once, and then an unlimited number of people can read and enjoy it. It can pass through many hands – it will keep going indefinitely until the pages start falling out (it always happens eventually). E-books, on the other hand, can’t be shared unless you want to give up your entire device for the weekend, or longer, depending on how speedy of readers your friends are. Many devices try to be nice and let you share a book once for free, but that’s nothing compared to the spread of knowledge that’s possible with a printed book.
Printed books are simple. Well, some are simpler than others (think War and Peace versus The Cat in the Hat). When you pick up a book, you don’t have to worry about whether or not it’s charged enough to last your entire flight. You can just open it and start reading; you don’t have to click around and find the right file. You can circle stuff or take notes without accidentally pushing the wrong button and highlighting an entire page instead of just that one cool sentence. And printed books only do one thing. You can’t surf the Internet with them, and when you’re reading you have no real need to do so, anyway.
They’ll Last Forever
Okay, so maybe they won’t last forever forever (I did say that pages can fall out eventually). But they are yours to own as long as you want and as long as your bookshelf doesn’t catch on fire. E-books, however, will only last as long as your device does or as long as e-book formatting remains the same. There’s no real guarantee that you’ll still have your e-book files fifty years from now, or that you’ll be able to access them on your futuristic reading device. Printed books are traditional, and traditions last for a reason.
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