Learn English Online: Reading Exercise – Print Books or E-Books?

Source by David Ergas

PRINT BOOKS OR E-BOOKS?

Read the text below on the advantages and disadvantages of print books and e-books, then try to answer the reading questions at the end of the article. Good luck!

READING

During the e-book revolution a few years ago, many claimed that the end of print books was near and that physical libraries would soon be replaced by electronic ones. Yet today the interest in print books has not diminished, even though more and more e-books are available on the Net. Why? What is it about print books that makes them irreplaceable?

In my opinion, print books will never disappear because a great number of readers will always be attracted to the beauty of a physical book: its characteristic smell, the feel of its cover in one’s hands, the turning of the pages, etc. There is a sacred connection between a man and a physical book that cannot exist on an electronic level, probably because a virtual object can never truly be possessed.

For this reason, people in the future will continue to have libraries at home to feel the comfort and security of being surrounded by their favorite books, and to know that at any time they can go take a book from one of their shelves and instantly read a passage without having to open their online library or wait for their computer to load (if they’re slow). This is one of the main problems with e-books: you don’t always have immediate access to them; you don’t feel their presence and beauty around you.

That being said, e-books also have many positive aspects. They allow readers to have all their books stocked in one computer, which is particularly useful when traveling or on vacation. A virtual library is very easy to move around and, moreover, e-books never get damaged (unless your computer does of course).

Physical books, on the other hand, are difficult to transport. They weigh a ton and take a lot of space in your bags. Not to speak of moving in or out of a home: taking the books off the shelves, putting them into boxes and then back onto the same shelves… What a hassle! Another inconvenient of physical books is that you always have to be careful with them. They are delicate objects that can easily be damaged by falling on the ground or getting in contact with various liquids.

Yet, despite these disadvantages, I still believe the relationship between a human mind and a physical book is too strong to be severed one day. Physical books will always continue to be published and people will always continue to read them, in private and public libraries.

VOCABULARY FOR THE READING EXERCISE

– to print: to produce books or newspapers on paper.

– to diminish: to reduce.

– sacred: connected with a spiritual force and deserving veneration.

– to bridge: to bring things together.

– to feel at ease: to feel comfortable.

– hassle: an irritating inconvenience.

– to sever: to divide or separate.

READING QUESTIONS

1. What did people claim during the e-book revolution a few years ago?

2. Can you name two advantages of e-books?

3. Is it difficult to move when you have many physical books? Why?

4. Can you name two disadvantages of e-books?

5. What makes the beauty of a physical book?

6. Can you name two advantages of print books?

7. Can you name two disadvantages of print books?

READING ANSWERS

1. That physical books would disappear soon.

2. They can be stocked all in one place and they are easy to transport. Also, they cannot be damaged.

3. Yes, because it takes a lot of time and effort to take the books off the shelves, put them in boxes and then back onto the same shelves.

4. You don’t really possess them like physical books. Also, you cannot consult them as easily and quickly as a physical book.

5. Its characteristic smell, the feel of its cover, the turning of the pages.

6. You can feel their presence around you. They are easier to consult than e-books.

7. They can be damaged and are difficult to transport because of their weight.

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