Accessibility for E-book vs. Printed Books
Although a significant number of people still prefer print media, especially for its tactile nature, eBooks possess numerous unique benefits over the conventional printed books. Accessibility is one of the primary factors that cement the position of eBooks in defining current and future reading. Unlike in the traditional library where readers are often required to make visits and conduct tedious searches to find a book, accurate online searches are easy to conduct and take considerably reduced amount of time to identify materials from digital libraries. Furthermore, regardless of the physical distance, readers take significantly less amount of time to navigate from one library to another over the internet.
Within a few seconds, an online reader can navigate from Harvard University library in the US to Cambridge University library in the UK. The least amount of time required to cover the physical distance between the US and London by flight is 10 hours. Because of the tedious and costly journeys, it can be extremely difficult and sometime impossible for readers to access printed media in physical libraries, especially when online library support cannot offer substantial assistance. Therefore, although conventional printed media still remains relevant among a section of readers, there are numerous situations, especially regarding accessibility, when eBooks are more advantageous than printed books.
The amount of time, effort and cost required to access eBooks from different libraries across the world is considerable small when compared to printed books. With increasing global internet and electronic gadget penetration, more and more people can easily access a wide range of global repositories to rent or purchase eBooks from different parts of the world. Readers can access eBooks from the comfort of their homes, offices or any other places. Moreover, because eBooks are considerably easier to reproduce when compared to the traditional printed Books which require significant amount of resources including papers, ink and technology to make copies, they are considerably cheaper. In this regard, eBooks are accessible to many people who cannot afford to buy or rent original copies of printed books. Furthermore, unlike printed books, which are relatively bulky, eBooks can be stored in small devices, such as flash disks and memory cards, hence are highly portable.
Readers in a location with internet access can download eBooks from the internet and store them in their personal devices, such as computers and smartphones, to read later when outside the range of internet coverage. On the other hand, bulky printed books re extremely demanding to transport from one location to another. A reader can barely carry three copies of a standard book to read away from the physical library. In addition, shipment of purchases from physical libraries include significant logistical challenges that make printed books costly and time consuming to access. Thus, eBooks, for being less demanding to access for many people significantly determine the shape of the reading community across the entire world.