Classic hardcover books are still selling by millions. You can find them everywhere and they make the perfect companions on a night in or the beach. However, there is some serious competition from a quickly growing market. Ebooks are not new at all, yet they have started gaining popularity in the 2000s. The market is growing extremely fast and according to most experts, it will take over the traditional book industry.
Obviously, each option has both pros and cons, yet the modern ebooks seem to dominate the fight. So, what are the main reasons wherefore more and more people believe it is better to read ebooks?
Never Out of Stock
If you want a particular book in a hardcover edition, you probably know already how daunting it is to go from one bookstore to another. If it is an old book, chances are almost null. Sure, you can try to find it online for sale, but then, certain books are almost impossible to find.
When it comes to ebooks, it makes no difference. If the book has been turned into an ebook at some point, it is available somewhere out there. It will never go out of stock because the digital market is, well, infinite.
No Waiting on Shipping
Unless you can find a book in a local bookstore (which still implies getting there and wasting lots of time), you will have to order online. Assuming that you are lucky enough to find it, you might need to wait anywhere between a few days and a few weeks.
In a world where everything is readily available, people want things now. They hate to wait and this is one of the reasons why ebooks are better than classic books. Once you make the purchase, the book is instantly available for download. It is a matter of a few minutes only.
Text to Speech Readers
The TTS (Text to Speech) technology is one of the numerous functions that many ebooks come with. You can also find certain applications that will read the ebook for you, not to mention the audio format many ebooks come with.
While it looks like a feature for those who are too lazy to read, the truth is that text to speech features can be quite handy for those who face reading challenges, dyslexia or visual impairments. The technology will also reduce eye strain.
You can never find such a feature in traditional books.
The world has reached that time in its history when it has to consider whatever is better for the planet. Resources drain before time and the necessity of certain changes is obvious now. A traditional hardcover book is based on paper, while the covers can be made of other materials (usually hardened paper though).
Printing thousands of books for a new edition will require plenty of trees to complete the process. Ebooks are different. You will only use some of your Internet data and maybe some electricity if you use a computer to read them.
The impact on the environment is almost null.
Good Value for Money
Who would not love a bookshelf covered in full collections like the ones you see behind professors when they give out interviews on television? But then, what would that cost you? A fortune! This is what makes ebooks a better alternative. You cannot proudly display them in your living room, but then, your available budget is the main consideration when buying something.
On average, ebooks cost about 70% less than traditional books. Obviously, it depends on what book it is too. If you need a less popular book, you might find it for cents only.
A smartphone, tablet, computer or laptop can literally hold thousands of ebooks. Whether you read ebooks for relaxation or for school, opting for the electronic version is a great solution if space if an issue. Physical books might look good on a bookshelf, but at the end of the day, they will become a nightmare if your available space is limited.
Ebooks can be stored on multiple platforms. You can store them on your smartphone or computer, as well as your email or cloud hosting.
Available to Read Anytime
When reading a physical book, you need light. Whether it is your partner or your kid, you cannot really do it in the same room because you annoy them. Sure, you can use a low light by your bed, but some people simply cannot fall asleep with a light on.
On the other hand, smartphones or tablets are backlit. The lighting is literally inside the actual product. This way, you can read late into a night without bothering anyone with light. Some might say that the backlight of a smartphone is still quite annoying – true, but never comparable to actual lights.
Not Losing Your Place
Without a bookmark, remembering the actual page can be quite tricky. You go back to bed at night and decide to read before falling asleep, only to read between the lines and remember where you were. It is one of the annoying aspects related to physical textbooks.
As for ebooks, most readers will remember where you were up to. You open the ebook and the reader will most likely go to the last page you read. It is not a general rule, as some softwares do not feature this option, but it is only a matter of time.
Again, not every ebook reader comes with a built-in dictionary, but many do. No idea what a particular word means? It happens! You do not have to guess its meaning or let your imagination work. Usually, you would just have to click or highlight it and a definition would pop up.
Even if there is no built-in dictionary, you can still search the web for that word and get a definition from your search engine. Try doing that with a traditional hardcover textbook… Exactly! Not going to happen. Of course, you can still read a hardcover book and use your smartphone to search for the meaning of a word. It works, but it is just not convenient.
Lots of people choose ebooks over traditional books because of the possibility to add notes on the spot. Basically, most ebook readers allow you to add your own notes on certain pages or paragraphs. You can then list all the notes and get back to the ones you are interested in.
The situation is different with traditional textbooks. You do not want to scribble on a new book, but you also do not feel like folding the page corners. You would have to remember certain pages or write them down separately – sounds hassling and just not worth it. Generally speaking, you will just lose all the notes in your mind.
In terms of establishing your own library, you can do it on a particular device (such as a smartphone or computer) or in the cloud. When doing it in the cloud, it is available online. You can protect it with a password, so no one else can access it.
Storing your library in the cloud will provide some extra advantages. If you use multiple devices at home, work or away from home, you can access your books from anywhere in the world. You can read them on pretty much any device as well. In other words, you gain the flexibility of not having to keep your reading device on you all the time.
Links and References
Many ebooks feature links or references. They are easily highlighted, so you can spot them right away. They just look like links over the Internet. What do they do? Easy! They provide more information on a particular word or topic.
Want to know more about a particular historical character or a chemical reaction? If there is a link attached to it, just click it. Obviously, you have to be connected to the Internet for this feature to actually work. It might connect to official websites, reference websites, online encyclopedias and so on. These links are rated to be official, as they are recommended by the author or publisher. Therefore, they are safe to visit.
Everyone knows ebooks are cheaper than classic textbooks, but there is even more. The online market is currently overcrowded by ebook selling websites. You can find them everywhere, from big retailers to small websites. The competition is high and that can only benefit shoppers.
For this reason, many ebooks come with bonuses and extras that you would not be able to find in a classic textbook. Whether it comes to special offers on various websites, discounts on more books, free subscriptions or just an audio version of the ebook, all these things make ebooks even more cost efficient.
Whether you want to look for a particular year in a history ebook, a character’s name in a novel or the name of an island in a travel guide, ebooks allow you to search for a word. Sure, the same word might be there more times, so you will have to go from one result to another – it only takes one tap.
Old textbooks do not have this feature. You would have to turn one page after another and read paragraphs, then try to remember whether it was before or after the respective page. It takes time and can be quite frustrating when you fail to find what you are looking for.
Ebooks Versus Books – Should You Stop Reading Books?
Lots of people read both books and ebooks. While books are slowly becoming old fashioned due to the practicability of ebooks, the truth is you still want them around. Nothing looks better in your study room than a library full of books. Besides, spending hours looking at a bright screen device can give you some headaches. Sometimes, it just feels good remembering your childhood days and read a traditional textbook in bed before going to sleep.
A traditional book also gives you a better idea of when you are about to finish it. You can see the pages on the left, as well as the pages on the right. It makes you feel good as you get closed to the end, but at the same time, you do not want that story to finish if you are hooked in. Sure, ebooks also have this feature and show you how many pages left. Some ebook readers have a percentage bar at the bottom too. It just feels better to visualize the process in your hands.
Last, but not least, the smell of a new book… Who does not love it? You open it for the first time and you feel that fresh aroma of wood. You can barely wait to put your nose into it and get into the story. It is even better when you grab a book on your holiday. Imagine yourself being on a beach or having a picnic in a glade in the mountains. The whole scenario would feel empty without a good book.
Of course, you could do this with an ebook reader too, but the experience is not the same. Furthermore, who would steal a book? You could freely go take a bath in the sea if it feels too hot without worrying that someone will steal your book.
In the end, there are no doubts about it – both books and ebooks have their advantages, but ebooks are by far more useful and practical. Ebooks are slowly taking this industry over due to their benefits, yet traditional textbooks are less likely to disappear too soon.
Most avid readers will rely on both options for different situations. Ebooks are practical everywhere and give you plenty of flexibility, while books are suitable for certain activities, such as holidays. However, there are particular cases when you can only rely on ebooks because textbooks are just not always available based on what you are looking for.
Often referred to as the ebook expert, Bob Burnham's reviews are easily reachable everywhere – blogs, online publications and magazines. He was featured in prestigious publications and he even gained a few rewards for his own ebooks. While constantly releasing new work, his main focus is on unbiased reviews of modern ebooks while pursuing his career as a literature professor. Over the past years, his name was linked with a plethora of bestsellers that were successfully reviewed over the Internet. more