Paperback Books Versus Electronic Books

Paperback Books Versus Electronic Books

The phenomenal technological advancements in recent years have brought about fundamental changes to various aspects of our lives, including our reading. Decades ago, we used to purchase print or paperback books from bookstores and spend most of our holiday reading books. Naturally, books took up quite a large proportion of my room.

With the invention of electronic books and the rise of e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Taobao and JD.com, more and more readers are switching to the internet, where they can purchase books in both electronic and conventional paperback forms. Should they prefer the latter, the paperback books will then be delivered to their doorsteps within a few days. Even better, all these are at a much lower cost as compared with books purchased from the physical bookstores. There have been longstanding debates about whether electronic books will replace paperback books. In consultation with your economics tutor in economics tuition, compare the cost and benefit of these two options. You may sign up for economics tuition with a reputable economics tutor to find out more. Mr Edmund Quek, Principal Economics Tutor of Economics Cafe Learning Centre, is an experienced and highly sought-after economics tutor. His economics tuition centre, widely regarded as the best economics tuition centre in Singapore is located within walking distance from the Bishan MRT Station. The economics tutor has published a few economics textbooks. Students who sign up for his economics tuition class may request for a free copy.

Advantages of Electronic Books

According to Statista, in 2017, a total of 266 million electronic books were sold in the United States, amounting to US$1.02 billion. The primary reason why electronic books are preferred to traditional paperback books is probably the lower prices. Based on my own research, readers can save more than 50 per cent if they buy an electronic book instead of a paperback book. This is coupled with greater convenience as they can make their purchase via their mobile phones or tablets on the go and read the books anytime, anywhere they like.

Apart from the lower cost and greater convenience, electronics books do not take up any physical space. This is particularly important to readers in developed countries like Hong Kong where property prices are very high and readers cannot afford to store up paperback books at home. In contrast, technological advancements have made digital storage cheaper and cheaper, further broadening the gap in storage cost of paperback books as compared with electronic books.

Further, unlike paperback books which will turn yellow and become moldy after a few years, especially in countries with humid weather like Singapore; electronic books require zero effort to maintain. Discuss with your economics tutor in your economics tuition class, the various economic and social benefits of electronic books as compared with paperback books. Approach your economics tutor for an explanation of the various social benefits which cannot be easily quantified.

Advantages of Paperback Books

There are many readers out there who still prefer paperback books, despite its higher cost, inconvenience and maintenance effort involved. First, the smell of paper and ink offers readers authentic reading experience which cannot be replaced by electronic books. Same applies to the wonderful feeling and rustling sound of flipping through the pages.

Second, paperback books help promote sharing. In public libraries across Singapore, you may notice a bookshelf with pre-owned books donated by different readers. If you happen to fancy any of these books, feel free to take it home with you. After reading, you may put it back on the same shelf for other readers to read. Book sharing has become an important initiative to promote reading among Singaporeans.

Last but not least, paperback books carry sentimental values as they can be easily scribbled in. Avid readers like to note down their thoughts and questions after reading certain parts of the book. These notes may form part of your fond memories when you refer back to them many years after.

Linda Geng

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