Open Forum: Digital or Physical books?

We read daily without even noticing. It might be through text messages, books, articles, Instagram posts, or any other thing that involves words. When it comes to reading, everybody has a preference: some appreciate reading online—using different platforms—, and others enjoy reading books printed on paper. They both have pros and cons, and every aspect should be taken into account before deciding which one you prefer; for example, the price, the variety, the distractions, etc.

The Price
Digital books are way cheaper than physical books because the process of making them is easier. The books aren’t printed, they don’t have a hardcover, and they don’t need to be bound either. To put this into perspective, we’re going to demonstrate it to you with an example. The book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in hardcover version is USD 11.99, while in the platform Kindle, it’s USD 8.99. You should also consider that some online platforms are completely free, like Wattpad and Litnet. Of course, you should know that since they’re free and open to anyone who wants to write, there is a chance that some books aren’t as professional, but some of them are as well-written as the ones you read physically.

The variety
Nowadays, we can find ANYTHING on the internet. If you heard of a book and want to read it, you’re more likely to find it online than in your local library. And even if you want to buy the hardcover version through Amazon, we can’t negate the fact that there are many more options online. As we said before, anyone can write online, and not all of them might be great, but there are more options for you to choose from. Also, some books are too short to be published (for example, an 8-page short story), so these kinds of things should be read online.

The distractions
We all use technology way too much as of right now. Even if we don’t want to, we’re addicted to technology, especially our phones. If we read on it, we will most likely get a notification while reading, click on it to go to social media “just to answer a message” and end up staying there for at least an hour, without remembering what we were doing before the notification decided to pop up on our screen. For this reason, we should consider physical books. A group of paper won’t distract us, which is why our reading session would be much more productive this way. Additionally, by reading physically, we are taking a break from the world, from social media and technology in general. We are taking this time for ourselves and for us to enjoy.

The adaptability
As all of us thought when we heard the title of this essay, digital books have an important perk: they can be read anywhere. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, as long as you have your electronic device, you’ll be able to read. There’s no need to carry around a whole book when you can have it on your phone. Still, you should take into consideration that if you don’t have an internet connection, most platforms let you download your book for it to be available offline, but others don’t. For this, it might be better just to carry around a physical book.

We don’t want to make this article longer than it already is, which is why we didn’t mention a great perk that digital books have: they’re eco-friendly. This is a huge point to take into consideration, but we could write a whole page about it, which is why we preferred just to mention it. So, in conclusion, we have compared the pros and cons of these two options. They both have valid points, but for us, it’s better to read digitally. After reading all of this, which one do you think is better? Did we change your mind?

By: Paulina Ciccone and Lía Ureña

Vote Now: Which one do you prefer?