E-readers or books?

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Books vs iPad

In 2007, Amazon released its first e-reader device—the Kindle—and since then, the world of reading hasn’t been the same. Amazon quickly faced competition in the e-book market, as Barnes and Noble released the Nook and Sony came out with the Reader. There are also Kobos, iPads, and smartphones, all of which have apps for reading books on the go. In fact, e-books are now outselling paper books.

I happen to love e-readers. My sister and I have Kindles, and my mother has a Kindle Fire. My friends and family all have different variants of an e-reader.

It’s easy to appreciate e-readers for the instant gratification and convenience that they offer. Once I finish a book, I don’t have to go the library or the store to get a new one. I don’t even have to get up from my comfortable position on the floor. I can instantly go to my home screen and pick one of the many titles awaiting me. Or, if I have finished all those books, I can just go to the Kindle Store on my device and buy a new one.

I’m not the only fan. Raina Salvatore, sophomore and Nook user, said that the only thing she would trade her Nook for was a lifetime supply of chocolate ice cream.

Another great thing about e-readers is that a book is often much cheaper when purchased electronically. Not having to kill all those trees makes e-readers more eco-friendly than books. In addition, the works of many classic authors like Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Edgar Allen Poe are offered for free.

Despite all this, not everyone appreciates the convenience of an e-reader.

“I think they’re alright, but I like the paper version better,” said Asmaaul Chowdhury, sophomore. “It’s more fulfilling to have something substantial in your hands as opposed to reading off an e-reader. Plus, I just grew up that way.”

I understand where that opinion comes from. I used to think the same, and resisted buying my first Kindle for months. I thought I would miss the cover, the texture, the turning of pages and the book’s weight in my hands. However, since I bit the proverbial bullet and bought my Kindle, I haven’t had a single regret.

At the heart of the matter is nostalgia. People like the idea of reading as they did in the “good old days,” and books are a constant in mankind’s history. Now, even that has changed, and change is scary. However, I believe people need to focus on the positives. It’s great that e-readers are making reading more accessible, easy, and convenient. We are now in a digital age, and we need to embrace the e-book.