These days, having a print copy of a textbook is not as critical as it used to be. Or is it? E-books, read on e-readers, computers and even mobile phones are fast becoming printed texts’ most significant threat to extinction. But, the academic textbook has a task of its own, and that is to facilitate learning. And in education, it is often argued that there is no substitute for practical learning. This is where the printed textbook still holds its advantage amidst the surge of electronic texts. Here are some reasons why:
-Versatility: The simplest reason you’d want to have a print copy of your textbook is the ability to read it by candle-light, at home or out in a far off forest, which you can’t do on an electronic device without worrying about its power source.
-Easier on the eye: In general, reading printed text is easier on the eye than electronic formats. That being said, producers of the latter are constantly adapting their products to minimize glare and facilitate easy reading. Kindle has already made great strides in this regard.
-Physical high-lighting: There is something about physically highlighting in a printed textbook that makes a snap-shot of that page in your mind when you most need it, that much more accessible in your memory. Sure, Adobe and other electronic readers offer highlighting, but all the pages of an electronic text start to look the same after an hour or two of reading, don’t you think?
-Note-making: As the well-known Chinese proverb goes “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” Physically making notes in a printed textbook is being involved in the process, and for that there is no substitute. Yes, this can be done in e-texts, but hitting the keys on a pad is very different from writing, even doodling, by hand.
-Leaves you less prone to distractions: Lock yourself away in a room with just a print copy of a textbook and a resolute mind, and you stand a much greater chance of getting any reading or studying done, than if you did the same with an e-reader or a computer. Other reading material, adverts, games, and the Internet all threaten the exclusivity of working with just your textbook when you read it on one of these devices.
-No danger of data being corrupted or the power source running low: Herein lays the safety of using a print copy of a textbook. And so, long live print!