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In this 'Sparks of Joy' series, Maliha Rao guides us to more wholesome living.

Books are magic. For us, they unlock a universe of possibilities and provide fresh insights. But what do you prefer? Scrolling or flipping pages? A never-ending dispute has ensued since the advent of ebooks as to whether they are superior to traditional printed books.

Digital books were a worldwide phenomenon when they first arrived, but they couldn't compare to the value of printed books. Choosing between the two is challenging, but we can shed light on their differences and the advantages they offer for the readers.


For purists, nothing can compare to the feel and smell of a printed book, and the memories it evokes. Books, both new and old, exude an odour that may be rather comforting. Who can deny the pleasure of feeling the paper in your hands when you flip through the pages?

A printed book can come in various sizes, styles, and formats, all of which add to its allure. Text, colour saturation, and graphic quality are all significantly higher than in any HD ebook reader. In addition, it has been observed that reading physical books, which are also easier to read and digest than electronic ones, increases comprehension and memory.

Of course, you'll keep buying them, and you'll be in a bind when your storage space is full. They are also more expensive, particularly the sought-after hardbound special editions. Since they require a lot of paper, water, and natural resources to produce, they are neither environmentally friendly nor reduce your carbon footprint.

Despite this, there is a special allure to physical books that can't be ignored. You develop a deep and meaningful relationship with your possessions as they transform from mere objects into friends and treasured keepsakes. The books we read will always have a special place in our hearts, no matter how many new reading methods and devices are developed.


Compared to regular books, ebook readers are lightweight and much easier to carry or transport. Printed books take up room, whereas ebooks don't while offering a wide variety of titles. Access to your library is at your fingertips. Who would not desire that? This makes them excellent travelling companions, whether it's going out for coffee or travelling to the tropics.

After making a one-time investment, buying ebooks is less expensive than buying print books. Finding a certain book in a physical bookstore might be time-consuming but searching for a book online is a breeze. As an additional perk, you can find a lot of free ebooks on the web.

More books can be read on a tablet in less time and at a faster pace. As these gadgets are self-illuminating, you can even read in the dark. You also can't help but love the fact that whatever books you have are only available to you and hidden from the view of others. Nobody will look at you funny if you're in your 40s and reading Alice in Wonderland.

When discussing the drawbacks, let's first clear up a common misconception. Despite their convenience, ebooks are not environmentally friendly. The manufacturing of ebook readers leaves a bigger carbon footprint. For these devices, recycling is also more difficult.

We must also consider that their reflective screens make them difficult to use in direct sunlight. Additionally, charging them can be a hassle. Another issue is the lack of focus and distraction brought on by the abundance of browsing options.

In the end, one thing is certain: true book lovers will value books in all their forms, regardless of their format.

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