Top 7 Reasons Why I Prefer a Printed Book Over an eBook

I WORK in a publishing firm, and although I've seen how the e-book business has grown exponentially over the last two years, I still carry with me those bulky, often rectangular-shaped objects made of paper that contain words arranged by a typesetting machine and produced by a printing press. This is just in case some of you may have forgotten how a printed book looks like : p  
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In this day and age when information come in as fast as you say the word fast and as cheap as my favorite perfume (Green Cross Rubbing Alcohol), more and more people are patronizing anything that's electronic. I'd say if it will save your money and time, go for it. But not with books. Here are my personal reasons for being [print] bookish -

1. I just love making dog-ear marks on all my books. (Although with the more expensive ones, I often use a bookmark). Yes you can flip a page and bookmark it digitally but folding a pixel-made up page is useless and not fun.

2. Reading an e-book using your mobile phone or ipad is distracting. Especially when you have push notifications.

3. Information retention becomes shallow when I read electronically. Observe it yourself. I guess this is because we tend to just skim through the page if it's online or cradled by a gadget instead of to really pore over the text. In my case, (because I'm a girl) my brain is struggling to compartmentalize information. I tend to associate my laptop or iphone with trivial stuff. I don't know, but I just can't focus on a novel or take Bible verses seriously if I'm reading them in a gadget I play Angry Birds with. You with me?

4. Printed books are showcase-worthy. True, Shelfari does this function but nothing beats having physical bookshelves with pretentious titles only your dad would read for house guests to look at. Plus, when electric power runs out, you can read with a candle.

5. You know how it is during college - my friends and I would borrow thick textbooks from the library and walk the corridors with our arms wrapped around them and wait for some guy to help us carry them. They make chivalrous men. But seriously, printed books may be old-fashioned but they help shape a (academic) culture. Just recall how many people from the library you need to befriend, my fellow LaSallians out there ;-)

6. Back when I was a frosh, we were taught the art of annotation. The professor would ask us to underline or highlight the portion of the text where an author's main point and a novel's theme lie. I was trained how to write commentary notes and critical analyses of the book, an exercise that is neglected with an e-reader. Today, when we encounter a certain passage that is too good not to share with our friends, all we need to do is type Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V. We usually don't bother paraphrasing a quote with our own words, hence, a thought process is eliminated.

7. From an author's perspective, a printed book is like a newborn child or a creative masterpiece or a dish he/she has finally perfected cooking. It's similar to an artist releasing an album or a record instead of selling 99-cent mp3s. Tied in with number 4, this particular quality of a printed book provides the writer a physical trophy that won't be easily copied or be lost in (cyber)space.


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