“But do you want to put… the smell of paper?” At the first, 9 times out of 10 ebook praise, you’ll get this objection, even from people who read books… a few. Paper smells, it’s true. And it can have a tactile consistency that no ebook has. But it also turns yellow, takes up space, attracts dust. And without throwing it into caciara on the eco-sustainability of a million reprints of the Lord of the Rings, there are at least 10 reasons why ebooks logically (and with the same content) offer more advantages than paper books.
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1. You get them more easily. Need a book? Simply connect to an online bookstore and buy an ebook version in just a few clicks, wherever you are. If you are a member of an Italian library, you can also get an ebook for free, on loan for 14 days, without having to pick it up and return it in person, thanks to online digital lending. And then there are the extracts: Amazon, for example, allows you to read the first pages of a book without having to buy it.
Read more: Paper book or ebook? Advantages of each
2. Ebooks cost less. Just take a trip to the bookstore to find out: digital books cost at least one-third less than the paper version, if not half as much.
3. They’re better laid out. Admit it… how many times have you picked up a book and put it down as soon as you realized you didn’t like the way it was printed? Typography is an art, but not all publishers are equipped to publish graphically beautiful and well-designed books. With ebooks the problem doesn’t arise: if you don’t like a font or the layout of a page you change it (in one click).
4. You can read them better. If you have reached the age limit, you have entered the tunnel with no exit of the glasses “to read”, you don’t know how much you will be able to increase the font size at will.
5. They help the visually impaired. Individuals with vision problems or reading disorders such as dyslexia can benefit more from e-books because they provide a number of options for changing the text size and line spacing. A 2013 study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, observed the reading comprehension and speed of 103 high school students with dyslexia. Result: people with dyslexia on ebooks read more effectively and more easily than paper books. “What makes the difference,” the authors of the study explained, “is the device’s ability to display even extremely short lines of text (about two or three words per line), as well as its ability to insert space between words. This immediately improves reading”.
6. They do not take up space. …And I assure you that if you live in a one-bedroom apartment and have a book pellet, the problem is no small one. An ebook reader like the Kindle can hold thousands of books, always available on the bedside table.
7. They are more practical. You don’t need to bookmark, you won’t cry your heart out to underline a quote, you won’t make any effort to read in the curvature of the pages. And you won’t have to racking your brains to figure out what “butyrant” or “prodigy” means. A firm click on the word is enough to get the dictionary definition (even in other languages).
8. You can read them anywhere. Ebooks are lighter than paperback, and the latest generation of books with the touch screen can be browsed with one hand. The Kobo Aura H2O and Tolino Vision 3 HD can even be carried in water, as they are waterproof. And in bed, thanks to the new screens with light sensors, you can read without disturbing those sleeping next to you.
9. Ebooks are always there. When Google presented its Google Books project, which involved digitizing millions of books, controversy over the death of the book broke out. Those responsible replied that among the various merits of digital books, there was the possibility of reviewing books that could not be found, because reprinting them to the publisher was not convenient. It does not only concern niche authors, but also the greats of literature and poetry of which some volumes are still unobtainable today. The ebook is therefore the only real lifeline for old books that do not have an extended market.
10. On the road… there is no comparison. Thanks to the apps that automatically synchronize, you can start reading on the ebook reader, continue reading on your smartphone while you are on the subway and finish it on your tablet or PC, without ever losing your mark. Ebooks also don’t take up any space in your suitcase and because they don’t have a backlit screen, the battery doesn’t let you down so easily.
11. Electronic readers not only contain books, but also maps, articles, documents, boarding passes… Have you ever thought about it?