eBooks VS Paper Book: What to Choose in 2023 - LiveCarta

eBooks VS Paper Book: What to Choose in 2023

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December 20, 2022

For all the time of its existence on Earth, mankind has significantly transformed the planet and influenced the environment, not changing it for the better. Now many people have finally fully realized that we are responsible for the state of the environment. Therefore, conscious citizens try to minimize the harm caused to the planet by leaning towards reasonable consumption. This system can be applied to anything: food, clothing, plastic packaging, etc. And even to books: their creation and use also leave their footprint. Just imagine how many books are printed in the world every day. And how many were printed!

In this article, we will tell you how books affect the environment and what is better in this regard - eBooks or paper editions.

black amazon e book reader

Not Reading is Harmful But Book Production

Writing and reading books is, of course, great. But their manufacture is fraught with not the most, to put it mildly, environmentally friendly consequences.

It takes a lot of trees to make paper. According to various sources, about 5 tons of wood are used to produce a ton of paper. That is, it takes about 24 trees to make 2,000 reams of A4 paper that you print on every day in the office. According to the portal Ecoanaliz.ru, more than 125 million trees are cut down annually for the production of paper in the world.

In the pursuit of profits, publishers are printing more and more books, both hardcovers and pocketbooks, often thrown away after the first reading. Of course, the amount of paper - and wood - is incredibly high, which does not contribute to the conservation of resources and pollutes the world.

In addition, paper manufacturers consume huge amounts of water. Figures vary from country to country but, to obtain a ton of paper in France, an average of 150,000 liters is spent, in the USA - 236,000 liters, and in Sweden, 1 million liters of water are required. Just think: all of this is happening at the very time when the inhabitants of some countries are dying from drought and thirst.

And it's not just paper. Printing books also require ink, and its production is by no means waste-free and environmentally friendly. Add to this the cost and byproducts of transportation (that is, gasoline, exhaust) - and the picture becomes even sadder.

However, paper books also have significant advantages. They are pleasant to hold in your hands, and they - especially freshly printed - smell fantastic. Many publications people keep for years and even pass on by inheritance. In addition, paper is easy to utilize or, for example, recycle.

What about eBooks?

From that perspective, eBooks seem to be the real saviors of the forests. Thousands of printed copies are replaced by a single file distributed through eBook stores like Amazon. Readers are happy, nature is safe.

However, there is one important thing to take into account. A discarded reader will harm the environment much more than a stack of paper books. Therefore, scientists urge manufacturers to make the reader production process as environmentally friendly as possible, and readers to be smart about buying a device and be careful about caring for it so that you don’t have to throw it away after a year or even less. The less often you get rid of equipment, the better for the environment.

How to Take Care of eReaders

For the reader to serve you as long as possible, you should follow simple rules that allow you to extend the life of an electronic device.

1. “Train” the battery of your reader.  After purchase, do not charge the book until the battery is completely dead. Then charge the battery to 100%. After that, you need to discharge it again to zero. By repeating the full discharge-charge procedure twice, we can say that we are reviving the chemical processes inside the battery of a device that could lie on a store shelf in standby mode for a long time.

2. Screen readers are fragile. Therefore, you do not need to put pressure on it with all your strength - smooth movements are enough. Wipe it with a soft dry cloth. If the contamination is obvious (for example, you ate something very tasty, got your fingers dirty, and then turned the page), use a damp cloth for technology (but in no case with alcohol, acetone, and other aggressive liquids), and then wipe the screen dry. And, of course, don't put anything heavy on the screen.

3. Buy protective accessories. Invest in a screen protector and a case. Always close the cover after reading. At home, you can accidentally drop something on a lying book, and on the road - put it in a bag without keys and other metal objects. The closed case perfectly protects the eBook from damage.

4. Avoid too high and low temperatures. The electronic ink (E-Ink) screen contains liquid that can freeze or boil. Therefore, do not leave the book in direct sunlight (on the beach, for example) or the cold.

5. Protect the book from bends and kinks. This is one of the most common causes of case breakage. And the reason for this is most often not a fall, but kinks due to improper distribution of pressure. So don't sleep with a book under your pillow. If you “turn off” while reading, it is better to carefully place the book under the bed. And when transporting, do not put the book in a bag or suitcase so that many things come into contact with it. It is better to allocate a separate pocket for this.

Nothing complicated! Follow these rules to change only the firmware on the device from time to time, and not the entire book. So you save not only money but also nature.

What is More Eco-Friendly – Paper Books or eBooks?

We have to admit that it’s eBooks.

Firstly, many people read them from devices purchased for other purposes (smartphones, tablets), and they completely replace paper volumes, and this contributes to the conservation of trees. Secondly, if you choose a high-quality device with electronic ink and all the necessary functions, you can completely switch to electronic reading. It will still be more beneficial for our planet than the indefatigable consumption of paper products.

On LiveCarta, you’ll find more than 300 open-source and paid non-fiction eBooks for arts, business, computer sciences, economics, education, and many more topics!

Interested? Get to know more