most people in their lives have seen and read physical textbooks, which have
always served as an academic knowledge based material for all age groups.
Electronic textbooks which could also be known as ebook, has various terms and
definitions. According to Sasson (n.d.), an ebook is an electronic format book
which is downloaded to a computer, laptop, tablet and smartphone or any other
types of reading devices that can be read on the screen just like a printed
book. The usage of ebook have drawn wide attention to many people since the
last decade therefore, the benefits and drawbacks of ebook will be discussed.
major advantage to using ebook is cost effective. Author Bridge Media (2016)
explains that companies like Amazon and Barnes and Noble make ebook available
at affordable rate as the buyer is not paying for the printing and shipping
costs of that of traditional books, also millions of books are readily
available on a economical rate. However, purchasing ebook it self is not as
affordable as it seems, as the user has to own one of the reading devices such
as tablet or laptop in order to read; ebook is not a physical book, in which maintaining the reading device can
be somewhat challenging. Burton (2012) says that reading devices just like all
the technology needs to be regularly charged and infrequently updated, which
can result to extreme damage on the reading devices.
addition, as for students these days are required to do a lot readings for
their assignments, reading in an ebook for an extended period of time can cause
health problems. Forbes (cited in Alshaali & Varshney, 2005) points out
that a research on reading from a screen is 20 percent to 30 percent slower
than in physical paper. Since reading an ebook slows down the reading pace,
there is higher chance that the user who
read in a long duration may result in eye problem such as eye strain or dry
eyes. As for book writers, ebooks can easily be pirated with the use of
technology, and hackers these days. Scott (2016) expresses that approximately
around 50 to 70 percent of all ebooks are pirated. Therefore, buyers should be
aware of buying ebook as buying pirated goods are illegal.
the other hand, portability is one of the benefit of using ebook. Ebook could
be ideal for people who travel often, as several or more ebooks are carried in
a go; without having to make an effort because they are always on the reading
devices such as tablet. Snarky Nomad (2015) agrees that ebook is portable and
accessible as it is useful when it comes to people with limited storage space
and small apartments. Moreover, ebook does not require any paper and ink to
produce since it is in digital form, therefore using ebook is environmentally
friendly. As reported by Green Press Initiative (2011) that, on a per book
basis, user who reads 100 books on their reading devices will impact 1/100th on
the environment than reading only one book on the same devices; in another
words, reading more ebooks on reading devices proves to have little effect on
environment than reading only 1 ebook.
buying ebooks can save money and it is easy to carry around anytime and
anywhere, and is environmentally friendly. However excessive reading on an
ebook can easily cause damage to eyes, and it should not be heavily relied on,
as once the battery of the reading device is down, it needs regular charging.
Either way, choosing to use ebook or not highly depends on personal preferences
as it may vary from one to another.