Print Books Vs. E Readers: An Apples To Apples Comparison

702 words - 3 pages

Over the course of human history, science and technology has revolutionized human society. However, there is one item that has remained the same until recently: the book. Ever since the printing press and movable type were invented, and even as the technology used to print them advanced, books have been printed on paper. The joint inventions of the eBook and of eBook readers have changed the book publishing world forever. The differences between the age-old print book and the modern eBook reader are legion, but can be most clearly seen in four main areas: the tactile experience of the reader, the ownership rights of the reader, the quantity of reading material that can be accessed at one time, and the average price for each format.
At first glance, the most obvious difference between print books and e-readers is that print books are physical copies of books with many individual printed pages, and eBook readers are portable media devices with a screen and buttons. The tactile experience of the reader is worlds apart, as readers of print books must turn the printed page by hand every time, in the process engaging their sense of touch, whereas readers of eBooks only interact with an e-reader’s buttons or touchscreen. The electronic components of e-readers have no variation in texture of feel, and do not engage the reader’s senses in the same way as print books, which are printed on many different kinds of paper with varying aesthetic and sensory qualities.
The next major difference between print books and e-readers is a reader’s ownership rights. With printed books, the reader has complete ownership of a physical copy of a book, but with an e-reader, the only thing that a person owns without restriction is the e-reader itself. All electronic books (other than public domain works) are merely licensed to the reader, and access is restricted to the person who bought the eBook. Because of their licensing, eBooks cannot be sold to another person, as compared to a print book, which can be sold to a...

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