Are Paper Books Better Than E-Books?


Diana Wawrzonkiewicz, Staff Writer

For most individuals, reading is most familiar between tangible covers and paper pages. It is the most quintessential form of communicating fiction and non-fiction to audiences all over the world. Universally filling libraries and bookshelves, such paperbacks, have long dominated print.

It was not until the start of the twentieth-first century that a rival was introduced: ebooks. They’ve become a pillar of the publishing industry, escalating in popularity through platforms like Kindle and Audible. More convenient in expense and travel, many readers gravitate toward this medium, abandoning the tradition of the physical book. 

Analysts anticipated that ebooks would overtake print by 2015, but just the opposite effect ensued. With COVID-19 and acclaim from the social media app, “TikTok,” paperback sales have risen 8.2 percent and ebook sales have slightly declined. 

While I appreciate the ease of online books in their vast quantity of choices and accessibility, I still believe paperbacks are better. There is something so nostalgic and exciting about going to the bookstore, roaming through the aisles, and finding your next read. I personally like bringing books to places like school, regardless of the additional weight burden. With all the time we already spend on our phones and technology, getting away from it is good for our minds and health. It is also undeniably satisfying to see your collection grow, seeing all the books you’ve read right in front of you.

Another critical aspect to confront is the cost of paperback books, which is presumed to be more than ebooks. However, if one considers the thrifting market: it really isn’t that bad. There are thrifting sites like “ThriftBooks”, where one can get popular books for only a few dollars- which is even less than how much they go for online! In my personal experience, I bought a hardcover of “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” for only two dollars at Goodwill, when it retails for nine dollars on Kindle.

Stamford High School paperback-advocate senior Sophia Karidas comments, “Having a physical copy makes it more real. It is like an escape from the world and reading online doesn’t reciprocate the same feeling.” 

Flavi Keller adds, “I love paperbacks. The smell of paperbacks is unmatched. Holding the book adds to the experience; it fulfills the experience.”

Though ebooks certainly have their perks, they will never beat the timelessness and benefits that paperback warrants. At the end of the day, it is what works best for you. For those students who haven’t read in a long time, may this serve as an encouragement to pick up a book and give it a chance. You never know what you might be missing!