Notre Dame
High School

Lawrenceville, NJ
School Life
The Voice

The Great Book Debate

Laura Bedser '19

There’s an ongoing debate in the modern world of readers: which reading format is better: paper or screen? Here’s a simple breakdown of some perspectives to consider.
  • You can carry what seems like limitless books in a Kindle, Nook, iPad, or any other tablet-like device.
  • You can easily annotate and bookmark without needing any supplies.
  • Digital books are less expensive than printed ones.
  • You can read in the dark (assuming the device is backlit).

  • Printed books are like a memento. You can collect them, and the wear and tear shows how well-read and loved they are.
  • Paper books can’t run out of battery.
  • You can physically turn the pages and feel the weight of someone’s words in your hands.

  • E-readers are potentially expensive.
  • Any device can lose battery, and if it dies when you don’t have a charger, you’re out of luck.
  • Devices are much more fragile than books.
  • If you don’t have WiFi, you can’t buy or download any new reads.

  • You can’t read in the dark without a light.
  • While more durable, paper books can rip and get damaged if not taken care of.
  • Especially for hardcovers, printed books are usually more expensive than the digital copies.
  • They take up a lot of space.

As the debate rages on, I find myself on the side of physical books. Of course, I’m biased, considering I have a wall-to-wall bookshelf in my bedroom. There is something powerful in feeling the weight of words in my hands as I turn the pages. Yet, when I’m traveling, my Kindle has more options and takes up less space than even one hardcover. I also use it to purchase books I’m not sure if I’ll like but can’t find in the library.

In the end,
one version isn’t better than the other; it is simply a matter of preference. As long as someone’s reading, honestly, who cares if the words are digital or on paper?

Notre Dame High School

Located on 100 beautiful acres in Central New Jersey, Notre Dame High School, founded in 1957, is a college preparatory school for grades 9 - 12, preparing young men and women for lives of purpose, built upon a foundation of Catholic faith, with a commitment to academics, co-curricular activities and service to others.