Graphic by Nate Barton
Although e-books are very convenient for a number of reasons, print books have shown to be better for readers. Many sources, such as Harvard Medical School, The New York Times and CBS News, have shown that e-books could potentially harm one’s health and information is best retained when read in print books.
E-books can be read anywhere you go. They weigh nothing because they are electronic, and, although they are in a digital form, it is still possible to make notes, reduce or increase the font size and search for specific words. This can be done in any device, whether it is on a laptop, iPhone or iPad. However, there are many disadvantages to e-books.
It is so much easier for one to get distracted while reading an e-book, because the virtual world has so much to offer. “E-reading opens the door to distraction. It invites connectivity and clicking and purchasing. The closed network of a printed book, on the other hand, seems to offer greater serenity,” according to Mohsin Hamid’s article “How Do E-Books Change the Reading Experience?,” published Dec. 31, 2013 by The New York Times.
Reading e-books at night could negatively impact one’s health. Harvard Medical School conducted several studies and participants reading e-books “…took longer to fall asleep and had reduced evening sleepiness, reduced melatonin secretion, later timing of their circadian clock and reduced next-morning alertness than when reading a printed book,” according to Elaine St. Peter’s article “E-Readers Foil Good Night’s Sleep” published Jan. 5, 2015 by Harvard Medical School.
E-books can affect one’s vision due to the blue light that is emitted by the screen, which print books do not have. “High levels of screen luminance from an electronic device can contribute to visual fatigue, a condition marked by tired, itching, burning eyes,” according to Amy Kraft’s article “Books vs. e-books: The science behind the best way to read,” published Dec. 14, 2014 by CBS News.
Print books are definitely more beneficial for readers that e-books. Print books are the best option for understanding a book and memorizing its information, it makes people fall asleep faster and exercises the brain.
College students should invest in print books and drop their e-books. Payson Library has reduced the number of print copies to increase the study space, but it has been made easy to get print copies by submitting a request online to the ILLiad Interlibrary Loan system. The request is not limited to books. Students can order, among many others, journal articles, DVDs, audiobooks and dissertations or theses.
Follow Carolina Pinto on Twitter: @caroli_mmp