Editorial: Schools should reduce paper use, adopt e-books

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Reading an assignment for class, Tiffany McNamara, 10, uses an e-book while Isabella Reele, 9, reads from a traditional paper book. Since 2011, e-book sales have surpassed paperback books by 45 percent and continue to dominate in the trade market. (Photo illustration by Karen Pegueros)
Reading an assignment for class, Tiffany McNamara, 10, uses an e-book while Isabella Reele, 9, reads from a traditional paper book. Since 2011, e-book sales have surpassed paperback books by 45 percent and continue to dominate in the trade market. (Photo illustration by Karen Pegueros)

Our old friend “print” is coming to an end, and e-books are being seen more and more in daily lives. School administrators, teachers and students have a vested interest in deciding whether e-devices or print books should be used in school. It comes down to the choice between the nostalgic smell of an old-fashioned book or the convenience of a handheld device. The fact is, printed books are coming to the end of their time, and schools need to get on board with e-books replacing paper. .

Some teachers prefer paper books for annotations because they cannot see annotations on e-devices by just simply turning the pages or looking at written marks. On the other hand, anything you do with an e-book is synced to the cloud, so losing annotations made on these not so sticky, sticky notes is no longer a hassle.

Another issue with adopting e-readers is the cheating scandal and game playing. It may seem like it does not exist on e-readers and is more of a problem with phones, but it can be extra tempting to use external resources during the exam that is worth half your grade. Even games to distract students from the teacher’s boring lessons can lead to more issues of the “no electronics in class, or they will be confiscated” rule. However this should not be an issue because e-readers must be connected to the internet to download and play games. Since students connect their devices to the school’s filtered wifi, they do not have access to tools for cheating or other potential distractions..

On the plus side, e-readers can be great for storing books without lugging paper bricks around in backpacks. Anything needed is on an e-device, including a dictionary and translations. Connecting to the school’s wifi is an easy few step process, and an e-book can be read after a quick download.

E-books can save students lots of money with discounts in the Amazon store, not to mention saving a trip or two to the gas station. According to goodreader.com, 26% of consumers who bought an e-book within the last year have been reading more than usual because e-books cost less than paper books. Although the e-reader device itself costs $100 or more, consumers save money in the long run. They can save between $15 to $20 on a newly published book with an e-reader since there is no cost for the hardcover or material being printed or delivered to the front doorstep or a local bookstore.

Allowing students to use e-books will also eliminate the “I couldn’t get to the bookstore excuse.” E-books can be accessed 24 hours a day, any day of the week, and there is no wait or shipping fee because the novel instantly starts to download on the e-reading device.

Finally, schools should act as role models and support the green movement. Fewer paper books means fewer trees are cut down. Encouraging students to use e-books is an investment in keeping our world green.

E-books are the next generation of books. It is bon voyage to print books, and schools need to realize that ship has sailed. Sooner or later, our society is going to be strictly e-everything.