Books vs. e-books: Pros and Cons of Both

Do your kids like to read? If so, do they prefer the traditional paper version or would they rather download an electronic copy to an online library? Whatever their preference may be, we have compiled a short list of pros and cons for both of book vs e-book.

Book Pros

1. Cheap: Though books may be considered outdated when compared to the new e-book versions, they still hold value. It is so easy to find a second-hand bookstore that trades and sells quality books for a discounted price.

2. Higher Retention: Studies show kids are more likely to remember what they have read if they were engaged with reading a hard copy vs. an e-book version.

3. Little to no Eye Strain: Artificial light exposure from light-emitting e-readers may interfere with the reader’s ability to sleep, ultimately leading to adverse impacts on health.

4. Nostalgic/Sentimental Value: The traditional option of reading a book is valued for the design, comforting smell, and passing books on for generations.

Book Cons

1. Size: Books can sometimes be burdensome to carry or transport depending on their size and considering whether it is a paperback or hard-cover copy.

2. Durability: As with all things, kids can be hard on books. They can tear easily and be ruined if wet. After reading the same book multiple times, it is common for the binding to split and pages to rip from their seams.

3. Reading Light: Books are not equipped with backlit screens to light up the text for reading in low lighting areas.

4. Storage: Overflowing book shelves can be a bit messy. This makes organising a book library a bit of a hassle and one mess that will continually need to be cleaned up after.

e-book Pros

1. Eco-Friendly: e-books provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to print versions.

2. Cheap/Free Versions: Most people are turning to e-books as a cheaper alternative than buying a book from the store. In most cases, e-book authors offer their first downloadable book for free. A preview option is available for download as well for the reader to preview before making a purchase decision.

3. Storage: Countless e-books can be stored on a single device. This can help lighten the load of carrying 10+ books at once; save yourself the time and download those 10 books to your portable e-book device!

4. Durable: Most e-book devices are light in weight and compact in size. This makes it easy for little ones to carry and convenient maybe for older adults who don’t want the added weight or reduced space in their bag.

e-book Cons

1. Eye strain: Perhaps the biggest con of e-books is the potential eye strain from staring at a bright screen for long periods of time. Some e-book devices, such as Kindle, offer healthier screen setting alternatives when compared to other tablet or phone devices.

2. Availability: Although the e-book library is large, not every published work is available for download on electronic devices. The book selection for children’s genre may be limited compared to the options available at a online store.

3. Battery: When reading from an electronic device, you can encounter battery drainage and this can limit the amount of reading kids can accomplish per sitting.

4. Non-transferable: It is much harder to share your copie among friends and family members when they are downloaded to a personal device.

Reading is a popular pastime and helps to stimulate young minds. Studies show improved literacy skills when children often read. It is important to know the pros and cons of both when deciding which outlet will help benefit your child’s needs. Paper books are great for shared reading with your children and encourage communication. Depending on the availability, e-books offer audiobooks for the children to listen and read along to. Both versions, no matter the preference, are great for kids to continue developing their reading and literacy skills.

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