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Words are power, but your device is on low battery

There is nothing better than cozying up on your couch with a nice book, or, in more recent cases, with a blue-light emitting screen. Instead of flipping through crisp pages with their fingers, lots of people are finding themselves scrolling down their phones to get to the next chapter. Ebooks are becoming the new generation’s version of literature. They’re highly accessible, cheap, and you can find practically any book you want to read. But is online reading taking away from the true book experience? Is it catapulting us into a fully-virtual society? 


Ebooks come with many advantages and drawbacks. One of the major concerns is how screens are affecting our health. There is already a pandemic of an addition to cell phones spreading through all ages. People are staring at their phones at work, in school, in the middle of the street, almost everywhere. Having a nice book to read was something that could get people off of their phones and stop their mindless scrolling. Now, books can be read on your cell phone with the same ease as pulling a real one out of your bag. 


With these additional hours of staring at your phone, people are increasing their exposure to blue light, potentially damaging eyesight and increasing chances of developing eye disease. Additionally, studies have shown that cell phone usage can affect mental health even more than it affects physical. Cell phones accustom your brain into a state of “mental laziness” and heighten levels of stress and anxiety. 


On the other hand, if an ebook reader were to limit their overall amount of screen time, these effects would not be as severe. Experts recommend that we should spend no longer than 2-3 hours a day on our phones. As long as ebook readers try to stay inside those limits, there shouldn’t be any damaging effects on their health. 


To expand the positives, reading online can save time and money. It saves people a trip to the library or bookstore and allows them to bring their book with them without any extra baggage. Furthermore, ebook libraries hold tons of books. They have just the same -- and sometimes more -- books than you would find in person. Normally, when you subscribe to an ebook industry you will gain access to their entire collection. Even though these subscriptions can get pricey, they add up to much less than the cost of buying real books. The average cost of a paperback book ranges from $13.95-$17.95, while the average ebook subscription costs $9-$15 a month and provides access to an array of books. 


In some ways, ebooks are managing to keep old works alive. With the recent banning of cherished books like “1984” by George Orwell and “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, we are relying on the internet to upload these books and keep them accessible. More recent titles like “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas and “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe address current issues such as racism and homophobia. These topics should not be silenced as there are movements taking place in the present day to help combat them. By sheltering students from these books, they will never be able to gain a full understanding of the hardships people of color and different sexualities face. Children need to learn about these things, and allowing them access to books like the aforementioned will give them better insight into how they can help.


Real books and ebooks both have their own beneficial perks. Real books provide an authentic, classical atmosphere and allow people to be more present with their reading. While ebooks are accessible and help people to save time and money. Additionally, ebooks have the ability to cement historic works onto the internet so they can be enjoyed by future generations. Ebooks and real books can also be enjoyed simultaneously. This makes for a healthy balance of readily available, online stories and occasional materialized books. Paperbacks will never go out of style, but ebooks have earned their rightful place in the world of bookworms.