Sunday, June 22, 2014

E-Books vs Paper?

The most interesting observation in an FT essay by Julian Baggini:
[Anne Campbell of the Open University in Scotland] explains how we create “cognitive maps” of what we’re reading, which include visual memories of whether certain passages were top of a left-hand page, for example, and kinaesthetic information based on heft and bulk, which tells us how much we have left to read. That helps explain why Benedetto has found that “scrolling impairs the spatial memory”, making it more difficult to find your way around a text.
I really believe that if ebooks came before printed books, we would be marveling at the idea of digital books being put in beautiful, neat paperbound form.



  1. Fcuk paper books! Older generations may be too stuck in what they are used to, but I personally hate paper books. I hate reading them, I hate having them in my household and I hate carrying them with me. And I also hate what it does to the environment. How many books does an average person own? 50? 100? 200? I don't know, but I bet quite a few. Can you imagine the environmental effects of printing that many books for billions of people? I mean there are certain books that every single person on the planet might want to own (eg. the English dictionary). Do we really want to print dozens of billions of them? Because after all, buying only one of them in your lifetime isn't probably enough. They do make changes (add/change words and such), so an average person might buy 3-4 of them in his/her lifetime. What a waste of resources, if you ask me.

    Besides, once my parents die, I will pretty much throw away (or give away) all of their books. Not only do I have different interests, but most of their books are either outdated (especially those about science or history) or just too worn out. So we are literally printing hundreds and hundreds of paper books for each new generation. With all this technology around, I consider this highly immoral (in terms of future generations).

    The Times They Are A-Changin', so e-books are here to stay! Get over it. You can buy a few paper books as a form of art, but there is no freaking' reason to buy every book in paper format. :)

    A proud owner of 0 paper books (yet I have hundreds of books in my iPad, iPhone and computer).

  2. Legend has it that some species of trees are capable of reproduction!

    Bamboo can grow up to 8 feet per day and has been used to make paper since ancient China.

    If you are truly concerned with the waste of resources, then you should have your hands full addressing the state, rather than wasting a non-renewable resource, your time, attacking voluntary interactions that harm no one.

  3. My 2 cents: I like e-books primarily because you can highlight a word and immediately see the definition and move on without skipping a beat. Also, when laying down and reading on one side with a paperback, it can be unwieldy to hold the book. (Imagine laying on your right side and reading the right page with the left folded over.) The search functionality is nice, too. I like traditional books because you can flip back to a previous page to reference a map or whatever more easily. They're easier to see if you are reading in the sunlight. Also, I like putting the finished product on my bookshelf like it's a trophy of accomplishment. All in all, I lean towards the e-book, but still enjoy both.