At the start of each semester, several students invariably ask me: “Do I really need to get the textbook, or is the material available online?”

The textbooks that I use are NOT available online. But even if they were, I would tell my students that they need the textbook anyway. Just because it’s a book. And I want them to take time with their reading, because in Dr. Harrington’s classes, they are reading to analyze, synthesize, question, and LEARN.

There’s something about a hard copy of a readable thing that makes us slow down while reading it—and when we slow down, we have time to think.

You might be interested in reading this article that was printed in the Washington Post this week. It tackles just this issue: e-readers or hard copies?

What do you think?


3 Comments on “E-readers or hard copies?

  1. I definitely love my hard copy books more than my e readers but as some one who is competing for space with a house full of other people its hard not to just opt for the e reader version to safe space. My poor books sit in a box but I see my e books on my screen every day. Though if I like an e book enough ill go out and buy the hard copy too

  2. I prefer hardcopy, absolutely, when the intent is to soak up information that is dense or complicated. I really on read ebooks when they are collections (thereby unwieldy in hand, like Sherlock, Edgar Allan Poe, etc.) since I don’t want carpal tunnel before I’m 30. 😛

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