With continuous evolving technology, gadgets have always had a significant effect on our lives. Whether this effect has been a boon or a bane is a debate. As time passes by, technologies come up and we upgrade ourselves to keep in touch with time.

Take the telephone for instance. It enabled us to communicate with people far away from us. With further development came the mobile phone, a portable version of the telephone. After some more evolutions, we arrived at smartphones. And today the population of the smartphones has started to overshadow the population of telephones.

Similarly, the reading masses are moving away from traditional printed paper books and have started favoring portable gadgets. The good old bound books are becoming less popular. Handheld devices like Kindle and Nook are in! Is it really time to let go of the printed books? Or maybe we are jumping onto conclusions? Let’s get right into it.

Why should you use Gadgets?

  • As the craze about gadgets is quite high among children, getting books on gadgets will increase interest among children to read them. Also, a survey suggests that 30% of e-content readers (including 40% of those under age 30) now spend more time reading than they used to, thanks to the availability of e-content.
  • One can read significantly faster online than in print. Hence, more information can be absorbed in a relatively short amount of time.
  • Since these gadgets are handy and portable, they effectively eliminate the need to carry heavy books to and from school/college.
  • As there is no printing or shipping cost involved, E-textbooks cost less than print textbooks.
  • Since paper is not required, there is no cutting of trees involved in the production of gadgets.
  • Quick and convenient exchange of information.
  • Gadgets take up very less space as compared to books.
  • Books can be heavier to carry around, especially during travel.

Why should you use Printed books instead?

  • Books do not need charging.
  • Handheld technological devices are associated with a variety of health problems. According to the American Optometric Association, handheld devices contribute to Computer Vision Syndrome, which causes eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes.
  • Feeling the surface of the book, the sound and smell of pages as you turn them one after the other has its own unique charm. Thus, the essence of actual literature is not found in gadgets.
  • Gadgets may crash, freeze, or get hacked, but print textbooks cannot.
  • People who read print text comprehend and remember the information better, and thus, learn better than those who read digital text.
  • Gadgets can be difficult to read in the sunlight.
  • Dropping a book in water/spilling on your book only makes it soggy. In a similar situation, a gadget could be lost beyond repair and the cost would be significantly higher.
  • The New York Times claims that the “adverse health impacts from making one e-reader are estimated to be 70 times greater than those from making a single book.”

The neutral perspective

  • According to research, the medium didn’t matter for general questions (like understanding the main idea of the text).
  • However, when it came to specific questions, the understanding was significantly better when participants read printed texts.
  • Excessive use of gadgets can have an undesirable effect on one’s brain and hamper grasping of the information. However, gadgets are more convenient to use and take up very less space.

Summing it up

Printed books have an upper hand in some cases whereas gadgets take the cake in others. Thus, there is no clear winner here. Which is better? It depends largely on the purpose of reading.


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