While e-books definitely have their advantages, physical copies (to me, at least) should remain the preferred version of books for as long as books continue to be released. Here's why:
Pros of e-books:
- e-books are easier to carry around. An e-reader is, at most, probably a couple of pounds. And you can carry an entire library around on that thing! You can also pick whatever book you want to read--you're not going to have to bring 3 or 4 different books to the beach with you because you can't decide which one to read first.
- e-books are easier to access. Living in my small town, I only get the opportunity to go to a bookstore on the weekends--and most weekends, I don't have time for a 45-minute drive (both ways) just to buy a book. With e-books, you can buy any book you want from the comfort of your own bed.
- e-books are easier to highlight text in. With a physical copy of a book, you have to remember to bring your highlighter everywhere with you (and the ink sometimes bleeds through the pages.) On an e-reader, you can select exactly where you want your highlight to go without it looking sloppy.
Cons of e-books:
- e-books are hard to read. Personally, I can't read long bits of text on a backlit screen. My eyes just can't comprehend the words and I end up with a killer headache. And if you're out in the sun, backlit screens don't light well. Also, your battery is bound to die quickly because backlit screens cause a short battery life. I hate getting to the climax of the novel and my e-reader dying--trust me, there's nothing worse.
- e-books are nearly impossible to write notes in. I love taking notes in my books, especially if I'm reading the book for a class. With a physical book, I can just whip out a pen and jot notes in all the margins--on an e-book, you usually have to add a comment or a note and type it out. Then when you go to review the book for a test or a paper, you have to scroll through the book and find little bookmarkers that show where you took notes. It's inconvenient.
- e-books don't look as pretty. You have to admit, a bookshelf with hundreds of differently shaped and colored books is just about as beautiful as anything on this earth can be. e-readers are boring--they're just a gray block with a screen.
No matter which way you go (whether it be an e-book or a physical copy), purchasing a book is better than nothing. Don't be lazy and just watch the movie. Invest yourself in a book. It'll pay off in the long run.