E-books versus real books

Jackie Scherer, staff writer

Over spring break, I had an epiphany. After conversing with an older woman about the book I was reading, my dream of owning and running a bookstore was finally recognized. The woman, who was a bookstore owner herself, called it a “dream job, the best you could possibly hope for.” I, being an avid reader and lover of all types of books, realized that I had found my calling in life.

In my ecstasy, I rushed to find my mother and tell her the good news of my awakening. However, being the realistic person she is, my mom solemnly reminded me that most books are now bought and read on Kindles or iPads, so owning a bookstore would be inadvisable.

Although I understand the practicality of using Kindles or e-books, I don’t believe paper books should be phased out completely (and this belief goes beyond my desire to own a bookstore.)

I agree to an extent that e-books are an efficient source for reading. Books can be bought on the device instead of going to a store, and one Kindle can hold an entire library of books. Furthermore, its electronic nature even helps the environment by not wasting paper on printing novels.

However, the Kindle’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness: its technology. It limits our attention span and restricts the way we comprehend information. Using a device such as a Kindle allows us to constantly flip back and forth between stories, so reading a paper book proves to be an impossible feat because we are so used to inconsistency and changing between stories. Since our attention is restrained, we comprehend less and enjoy the story less.

Books require a personal attachment, whether it be love or hate. This bond with books, created in childhood, should not be superseded with kindergartners staring at a Kindle screen. This obstructs the attachment between book and reader, making it technology-dependent rather than basing the bond of love of the book.

When people switch over from paper books to e-books, the reading experience is completely lost. Looking at a screen does not have the same effect as turning the page. Reading a book allows for an escape from reality (including technology), and creates a tangible experience page after page.

If you don’t want to read a paper book, you can close it and use a Kindle, but you have no right to say I can’t open one.