Straight Talk – E-books or printed ones?


Compiled by Swathy Sanjay Sindhu, TYV AMBASSADOR #1

Students debate the topic from the learning and environment perspective.

Najma Altaf

Nothing beats the paper book! Once I tried to study from an e-book and I found that I had forgotten most of what I had read from it. Moreover, my eyes were hurting due to the strain. That is why I prefer paper books. But, they are bad for the environment. However I don’t think e-books are any better. They run on electricity which is mainly obtained from fossil fuels.

Priyamvada Vishwamitra

According to me, paper books will always rule the world of education. Despite the fact that e-learning is really informative and convenient, there is something about printed books that attract our attention and we end up learning from them. We can still find age-old books written by famous writers and poets, scientists, mathematicians, etc. which students refer to till date. However, from the environment perspective, paper books do cause a lot of problems like deforestation. But even when it comes to e-learning there are many distractions which students often fall for; not only that, e-learning is also harmful for our eyes and consumes electricity. ‘True learning happens when books and friends, writing and understanding intermingle in a rich soup of participation’ and according to me only paper books provide us with such a chance.

Aashna Raheja

I think both, the e-books and the traditional textbooks have equal pros and cons in this debate! But since we have had many speaking on the behalf of traditional textbooks, I will speak for e-books.

E-book readers have the capacity to carry more than 500-600 books. This is equal to the books contained in a library. Now, we can’t roam around with a library in our bag, can we?

When boredom is on the verge of killing us, e-books to the rescue! Just switch it on and read whichever book you want and watch how the hours fly by.

E-books nowadays have gotten a lot cheaper. It is possible to find cheaper e-books online than a paperback book which will cost something that is definitely more than free.

Can we adjust the font size of our traditional books? NO! But this sure is possible in the case of e-books! And as in the case of charging e-books, it does not have to be charged for more than 2 hours.

When we do not hesitate to use our laptops, computers and mobile phones, why are we closing doors to e-books? And from the student’s learning perspective, an e-book is something new. It is exciting and will motivate us to study.

Varsha Ramdas

I personally prefer printed books. They help you to actually feel and enjoy the learning experience. Flipping the pages of a book brings in immense fun and joy. E-learning causes strain to our eyes. While using the internet, children, especially teens, may get distracted. They tend to browse other sites rather than actually concentrating on their studies, whereas printed books help in increasing concentration.

In spite of bringing in a new idea of e-learning, I feel that the advantages of printed books are much more when compared to e-learning. May it be stories, novels or study material, I would like to say that the print culture isn’t going to die down any soon!

Sneha Siby

I think the better version is hard copy books to the ones available online. It is not just a matter of straining our eyes. The main reason why many students find it hard to study is that they are not able to concentrate or be engrossed in the process. Also, many study sessions might start out in the name of e-learning and end on Facebook or Instagram pages.

However, from the ecological perspective, e-books seem to have a direct adverse impact on the environment. We should also bear in mind that charging electronic devices require electrical energy which, when over used, lead to dreadful consequences. Also, the problem of deforestation can be, to a certain extent, mitigated by recycling and reusing paper.

In a world where man is ready to go to great lengths for comfort and pleasure, the loss caused due to printing treasuries of knowledge is something we can afford if proper counter-measures are adopted.

Swathy Sanjay Sindhu

So let’s sum up

Learning perspective – From this perspective, all our debaters seem to agree. Most of them feel that printed books are the best to keep concentration intact. But we have a supporter of e-books who says that these can be stored and carried along easily and are practical solutions to carrying heavy loads of books and papers.

Environment perspective – There seems to be no agreement from either side for this perspective. The argument remains – printed books lead to deforestation and e-books consume electricity.

Final Verdict – There seems to be no clear winner for this debate. I think the best solution is to use printed books for academic learning and e-books for entertainment reading. Striking a balance between the two is crucial to helping the environment and keeping the book-worm in you alive!