Battle of the Books: Ebooks vs. Physical Copies


Rowan Harris

Devante Nava determines the pros and cons of Ebooks versus hard copies.

Rowan Harris, Staff Writer

With the rise of social media, reading has become more popular than ever. Hashtags like #Booktok and #ReadersofTikTok seem to dominate TikTok, and reading has become an “aesthetic” on websites like Pinterest and Tumblr. With this reason in mind, it’s no wonder that students at St. Louis High School seem to always be buried in a book, or reading a chapter on a screen, or listening to it through headphones. However, there is much debate on the best way to read: is it better to get a physical copy and turn through the pages, or to find an audiobook and listen to it as you work?

There are many appeals to both ways of reading. The good old-fashioned method of buying a book or checking it out in a library seems to be increasing in popularity day by day, and this method of reading does have a certain charm. An English teacher at SLHS, Terri Reeves, commented on the appeal of reading a real copy of a book, saying, “I like physical books, personally.”

“I like to take notes in my books, and write in them, and I really just prefer holding the books in my hand. It really just heightens my experience and heightens my enjoyment of the story,” continued Reeves.

Teachers aren’t the only ones recommending physical book copies, though. St. Louis High School junior Lexie Thayer commented, “I definitely prefer to read physical copies.” When asked why, Thayer shared, “When I read on my e-reader, I get headaches and it’s just harder to read. It’s just not the same as reading a physical copy of a book.”

Physical books aren’t the only way to read, though. According to some, audiobooks are a preferred way to read. Many people have busy schedules, and don’t have enough time to read. Therefore, playing an audiobook over headphones while doing something else can help readers find more books without setting aside time to read.

“That’s not to say that e-readers and audiobooks don’t have their benefits,” remarked Thayer. “They’re definitely a lot cheaper than buying a bunch of books when it comes to the grand scheme of things, and they’re great for accessibility.”

Overall, while most people generally prefer to read with a physical book, nobody denies that ebooks are a good way to enjoy reading without needing access to a library or books of your own to purchase.