Flipping through pages, and breaking the bind on a new book to breathe in the scent is something some people still enjoy. Technological innovation has grown rapidly with the rise of e-books such as Amazon’s Kindle in 2007 and Barnes & Noble’s Nook in 2009. Yet, tactility and practicality are just two benefits of reading physical text.
“It is actually a different reading process to hold something, actually doing something physical, actually turning pages, you’re actually having that physical sensation,” Elon Coordinator of Library Collections, Shannon Tennant, says.
But she also thinks that there are pros of e-books such as helping educate those who are visually impaired and provide taking less books when traveling.
“Textbooks, I think, are a whole other beast,” Tennant says, “We’re really, very much moving to e-textbooks to open educational resources, because the cost of print textbooks is just so high.”
Melissa Kammerer is a librarian at May Memorial Library in Burlington, North Carolina. “We definitely see e-books [used] for research.”
As a Ph.D student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Julia Reeves, recently purchased printed textbooks because she loves to take notes in the margins and said she wouldn’t be able to do that if she had a copy for the computer.
Ultimately, Tennant sees no difference. “Once you can read it just opens up so many worlds to you. It’s the most important skill you can have.”