Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Are eBooks superior to Printed Books?

For those of you new to my site, this is not the normal type of post. Normally I do book reviews, however, I wanted to give a go at writing a sort of opinionated article. I'm not sure why, but I'll see how it goes.

What is an eBook?

The electronic book, more commonly known as an eBook, is, according to Merriam Websters is a piece of literature which is, well, printed electronically, available via computer, mobile device or any other device that has access to the internet. These books can vary from non-fiction articles to, again more commonly recognized, as fictitious novels written by authors ready for kids to consume and read.

However, I've witness that some people are against eBooks. Mainly, teachers that aren't teaching English. This is especially present after tests. Having recently completed finals, some kids were reaching for their precious mobile devices until they're told by the instructor to put them away. This is a common rule: no phones after exams due to the possibility of cheating (via sending what's on said exam). However, because reading is allowed after tests, many kids reach for the excuse "but my book is online" which sparks a debate a teacher doesn't want during the middle of an exam.

Help or Hindrance?

I think lots of teachers, and people in general, like the idea of eBooks. Many of today's youth associate literature as boring, and not exciting (one of the reasons why I decided to begin this blog: to promote literature to today's youth as not boring but actually, well, decent) However, when you give a kid a phone, well, as I've seen from my peers, their face can literally light up. For those reasons, some parents will agree eBooks, for their easy access on devices that appeal to kids, are a good thing.

But some people disagree. When you give a kid access to a device, unless you are monitoring their every swipe, there is a small chance they are going to stay on task. Give a kid a printed manuscript, and it is obvious when he's off task. Give a kid a phone, and well, it is much tougher. From personal experience, writing on a computer can be hard to stay on task. Writing this article alone, I've already checked different tabs around 6 times. This sparks the argument: is it worth convincing kids to read books when they're on electronic devices if they're going to end up playing games and not reading anyway? Tough to tell.

From an Educational Stance

I think books, education, and the internet should go hand in hand. Carrying a textbook is hard work, especially when you're in multiple classes that require you to carry one. However, society's present day innovations have allowed the common student to access material needed for their school easily. Not only that, online versions of books have extended features, such as book marking, searching for specific terms relevant to your study, and even in some cases being able to print a page. This is where online books trump manuscripts.

But their is still something about having a printed copy. Referring back to the previous section, it comes with the guarantee that a child can not go off task. Most teachers despise those cell phones in their class, however, with textbooks, it is a classic yet solid way of teaching material without distraction. Does it include the fancy gizmos and features of online copies? No, but it is traditional, and as the saying goes "if it ain't broke, then don't fix it"

And so the argument continues. The argument may not come into day to day debate, but it should be one that must be kept going until a common solution is found, a solution that brings with the features of electronic media without causing the easy ability to become distracted by other websites and apps. The common debate topic: "are eBooks superior to printed books?" between bibliophiles worldwide may never find a solution, not until the format drastically changes.

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