November 27, 2022

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E-reader or classic paperback: Which is better for you?

E-reader or classic paperback: Which is better for you?

Do you have cupboards full of books at home or is it all on one e-reader? Each reader has his own preferences. But which is better for us, classic paper books or e-books? We list the advantages and disadvantages of both reading methods.


Regarding the environment, both paper and digital books have their own advantages and disadvantages. The production of classic books requires paper from cutting down trees or from recycled paper. And for the production of paper we need water, from 10 to 25 liters per kilo of paper. The printing ink is often made up of a few environmentally friendly raw materials, just like some hardcoats. Added to this is the environmentally polluting transport of books from the printing press to the stores.

This is of course not the case with e-books. E-readers are relatively economical devices and often do not require charging. Turning off Wi-Fi and lowering screen brightness while reading can help your battery last longer. But the production of e-books also costs a lot of energy, especially in the form of data storage. Only when you devour dozens of books on your e-reader can you save a significant amount of energy. So buying an e-reader specifically for one or two books makes no sense. How to put an e-book on your e-reader You can read in this article.

screen time

Many people are on their phones, watching TV, laptop and/or tablet every day. Would it hurt to use an e-reader, too? This is actually good. E-readers use digital ink instead of LCD screens, so they don’t strain your eyes too much. Reading an e-book through your tablet for hours on end can take a heavy toll, but an e-reader in principle reads just as easily as a paper book.

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An important argument for avid readers to use an e-reader? The space you provide with this. Whether you have 50 books scattered all over your house or whether you put them all in one device, it makes a huge difference. And when you go on vacation, an e-reader fits more easily in your luggage than a stack of books. Make sure you have a charged battery if you want to read in the car, train, or plane. Also watch out for car sickness.

to sleep

Therefore, an e-reader requires less of your eyes than a tablet or other electronic device. But be careful if you read another piece on the e-reader before going to bed. American research has shown that it can actually disrupt your sleep rhythm. Falling asleep takes longer, which can make you less alert the next day. On the other hand, paper books help you sleep better. Your body will relax and your stress level will decrease if you read an “old” book before going to bed.

fun to read

Scientists from the University of Stavanger (Norway) conducted research in 2013 on the difference between reading on paper and reading through a screen. Participating primary school children showed that paper text sticks much better than digital text. Thus reading on paper leads to text comprehension more than reading text on screen, which is the most important result of this study.

Does this also mean that you enjoy a story in a paper book more than a story in an e-reader? This of course varies for everyone, depending on your preference. But paper books and e-readers clearly have their advantages.

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(Source: Klooker, Coolblue, Picky, Het Laatste Nieuws, National Library of Medicine, Read more, Sleep Tips, ResearchGate. Photo: Shutterstock)