Paperbacks vs E-books

According to an article on Barnes & Noble’s website, it is very common that students are now going paperless and now choosing e-books. E-books are a lot more flexible when it comes to financing since there are no printing and shipping costs, and there is no waiting for the book to arrive. However there are some students who love the old fashion paperback book.  Paperbacks has no battery life so it is available 24/7. And as crazy as it sounds, a lot of people love the smell of old books.

E-books are gaining popularity throughout college students and professors. Paperbacks are bookstores revenue. Both books contain benefits for college students and professors.

Here are some pros and cons on both sources according to


  • Paperback
    • They’re easily obtainable (bookstores are everywhere)
    • Don’t normally cause significant eyestrain.
  • E-books
    • Easily readable
    • Their easily portable. You can carry multiple books on one device.
    • Powerful note taking



  • If you make notes in them, those notes are there to stay.
  • Light source to read


  • Power. Your average laptop has 4-6 hours of battery life.
  • Availability. Not all books are offered on all e-reading formats.

Jackie Walker

Jackie Walker, 22, a business management student thinks hard copy books are a better choice. “I think that the classic book is easily obtainable, perfect for traveling, and don’t need power to function.”



Brandon Jackson

Brandon Jackson, 21, liberal arts major thinks otherwise. “I feel like paperback books will be obsolete in 5 years. E-books are easily readable, easily portable and you can carry multiple books on one device.”


Bookstore keeper Jonathan Matthews from a local Cypress bookstore, Textbooks Inc.,explains briefly how e-books do not affect their business.

“No, E-books are not hurting our business currently,” said Matthews. “Paperback books are timeless; they will never be obsolete.”

“We have lowered our prices because E-books are cheaper than paperback,” said Matthews. “But the quality of a paperback book and the information being there for you 24/7 with no battery or lifetime is what makes me believe that paperback books will always be here to stay.”

With technology only moving forward, Jackson may be right about E-books.

Since 2007, when Amazon first released its Kindle, the e-reader in general sky rocketed and students were purchasing Ipads and kindles to try this version of books, according to The success of devices such as the kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and Apple’s iPad show the viability of E-books as alternatives to paper books.

A analogy that compares paper books and e-books is horses and cars: horses are the old way of transportation and cars are the new, paper books are the old way to read and E-books are the new way. With technology getting better day by day, they both might be obsolete and a new invention will come into play soon.

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