My one prayer whenever I’m stressing my eyes for hours unending reading my favourite novel sometimes when the room is dark, and the light from my phone is assaulting my eyes is for my eyes to not let me down in the future, because I hardly doubt it is healthy. But because technology is so adamant on making everything easy for us and we are so welcoming and accepting of it, I still go back to reading on my phone, at least it’s a wider screened smartphone now.
I see people reading paperback novels, and the first thing that comes to my mind is, I’m getting the ebook on PDF Drive or some other site because I know I can!. Now, I don’t even bother buying the print novels and sometimes even textbooks; they are mostly online, it’s always a plus if they are free.
Ebook vs paperback? Reading ebooks is my preference. I know of many people who can’t even stand the idea. They prefer seeing the print as it is, that is the only time they get the reading experience. For others, the feel of a good book in their palms is not something they will want to trade for anything. There’s a certain connection the reader feels with the characters when going traditional while reading – a cup of tea at hand, sitting on the balcony/patio/ in the backyard, facing the warm glow of the sun rising and holding an actual paperback novel – the feeling of being in the book is what is priceless.
I know of a relative whose main reason for reading a paperback book is because he usually flings them when he reads a part that annoys him, he can’t fling his phone all the time. Now, can he? For some it’s just so people can see them reading a novel, it gives out the imagery of someone much more intelligent and talented than they are – they seem to think.
But for many, it is the novelty, the sanctity of the traditional books in print that makes them ever loyal to it.
The proponents of ebooks are of the valid opinion that when it comes to mobility, portability and convenience, ebooks take the lead. I mean we all have those choice books we can’t seem ever to put down, and some are heavy and not at all convenient to be carried around. But on a mobile device, a few clicks gives you access to the books you want to read in spite of its size, title, genre or the place you are (stop reading in class).
On the part of the writers and publishers, it’s all about faster and easier access to readers. The circulation of ebooks is no doubt not far behind its print counterpart. There is also more flexibility, and with so many free self-publishing medium, e-books production are so much more rampant with or without pay.
For people who have no access to traditional publishers or scared of publishing their work in print and in the same vein, they want their work shared with the world; online publishing is always the go-to choice. It is not only easier and faster, it, with proper knowledge of the right medium, can ensure that you reach the target audience.
Contemporary young writers seem to choose writing online and publishing online and reading online because they are basically always online. It is so much more familiar territory and easier to manipulate without all the formalities of traditional publishing.
But readers of ebooks also acknowledge the fact that there’s always a difference in the reading experience. As opposed to having a book wedged between the palms, having a phone with its screen lights on, chances of being called, knowing the battery may run down and the device just being anything depending on its use just doesn’t make reading as unique. The experience feels lessened in the opinion of some.
Writers of ebooks also have their own concerns, mainly, copyright. The chances of work being plagiarized has increased a hundredfold now that the work is online, easily accessible to all and very convenient to be stolen. Lack of credit given to the author for work done is also a very discouraging factor — also the fact that security of work online is not always guaranteed. This means that if your only copy is on the website you have posted on, you may lose the whole if it.
Writers have complained of writing for free. The lack of monetary gratification is a setback and in many cases, if it at all comes out in a book form, it might be free to be circulated by all who have a proper phone reader. Or it could be that a person actually dedicates precious time to writing a full book only to have a little or very meagre number of readers. It is dispiriting.
So it’s tricky to say that ebooks might override the traditional ones very soon as many youths do no longer even see the point in toiling to get your work published and earning only a meagre amount from it as is the order of the day when they can do same for free online and sometimes even earn from it but we can also not be blind to the plenty many risks attached to ebook in general, but then, life is all risks.
Though I’m not in support of extinction of print, because writing on paper is in itself a completely different experience, I still think ebook is major literary technological advancement that needs to be celebrated.
So which do you prefer? E or Paperback books?