You walk into a bookstore. You go to the “new releases” section, grab the book you’ve been waiting for and head towards the payment section. However, on your way there you notice a small but eye-catching section dedicated to e-readers. You start wondering if it’s time to make that switch. Yes, we’ve all felt that. To be honest, it’s tough to get a clear answer.

E-books are compact. Even a 4 GB device is capable of holding hundreds of books. In case that isn’t enough, you can always store them on multiple electronic platforms. No book will ever be “too heavy to hold” since those e-readers are really lightweight. There is no issue of making space for them either, you can keep them in a drawer or leave it on your study table. On the other hand, a bookshelf would take up an entire wall.

In the past, people have put forth arguments that e-readers can be harmful to the eyes. As long as you don’t turn on the backlight, this is not true. E-readers don’t emit light, they just reflect it. Take one into a dark room, and you’ll see nothing. Read from it under sunlight, you will observe that it glows, unlike a smartphone screen. Also, an e-reader’s e-ink display almost simulates the feeling that you are reading those words on a piece of paper.

I’m pretty sure that at this point of the article, many of you readers will have swayed towards e-readers, but please hold on. See what the other side has to offer.

Despite all the advantages of e-readers, nothing changes the fact that they only simulate the feeling of a regular book. They cannot duplicate that feeling altogether. Every reader who reads with the purpose of recreation, would prefer picking a book out of a bookshelf, opening it up, cosying up on the sofa and starting to reading. It gives off an unexplainable and aesthetic vibe that only a book lover is capable of understanding.

Placing a bookmark while taking a break, the smell emanating from a fresh book, taking care that the edges aren’t folded, these are some minor and probably silly aspects that are still a part of enjoying a book. This is something e-readers cannot compete with.

However, it’s 2019. It’s a busy world, and we’re always on the move. At these points of time, an e-reader would make more sense due to its diminutive size. Most of them have an excellent battery backup which would last for ten hours at least.

It is tough to come to a conclusion here. Truth be told, there isn’t one. Can one completely replace the other? No. This is because both can serve different purposes. E-readers are suited for travelling, while regular books are always a joy to read. It’s time for each one’s defenders to call it a truce.

-Himanshu Ashar