Digital: Good or bad?

I’m currently working on a really odd project at work for one of my bosses. He has multiple stacks of the newspaper, The Chronicle, particularly the one that focuses on higher education. I have to go through all of them and take out all the interesting articles. He gave me a short list of possible topics to keep an eye out, but so far its up to me what makes the cut or not. I don’t mind, I’m currently getting paid to read :)

Anyways, there are of course many interesting articles on higher education, but there are also a few that are about books, literature, or libraries. One interesting article’s focus was on reading slowly, to take what is being read all in and comprehending the material. While there wasn’t a focus on whether it should be physical books or digital, the picture I always imagine is someone holding a physical book.

A couple articles I came across talked about initiatives or steps that companies or libraries are taking to make more and more books digital and available online. Mostly this pertains to books used for research purposes, but it brings my question to mind. Are digital books bad?

I realize that there are many factors that people may take into account when answering this question. I also realize that ‘bad’ could be the wrong word or possibly vague.

For me, a huge part of my reading experience was being able to get the physical book and hold it my hands while reading. I love being able to turn the physical page myself. It also comes down to which is more environmentally friendly – physical books or an e-reader?

I could never find a good answer to that question, mainly I think because I’m not educated enough to really delve into that debate. One of the articles I did read when investigating gave some really good advice: if you want to be environmentally friendly and be able to read all the books you want, then go to the library. Checking out books and returning them is a form of recycling. I took that advice to heart and have been choosing to browse the library first before the bookstore.

I can also see the logic behind e-readers or making certain books available in digital form, and in this day and age, we have no choice but to accept the fact that technology is rising, which is fine. I just don’t want the physical books to completely disappear, because reading a book isn’t the same sometimes when you read online or from an e-reader, especially for kids. Young kids these days are already glued to screens, I don’t want to encourage that.

Well, I’m sure some of this didn’t make sense or was just paragraphs of ramblings, but thanks for reading!!


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