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.
 
DIGITAL PROS
  • 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 PROS
  • 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.

DIGITAL CONS
  • 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.

PRINTED CONS
  • 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?
 
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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.