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A question that strikes every university student at one point or another during his or her academic career is, “Should I own the soft copy or hard copy of this book?” A debate has always risen several times about this topic and students still have no idea whether or not to completely adapt soft copies of books into their lives or keep hard copies around as well. Each to his or her own preference but one will always have more advantages than the other. A soft copy is a term used for a book that can be opened and used on any smart device. (Laptop, phone, etc…)
Unlike a hard copy, which can be held and felt physically. It is so much more different than owning a soft copy of a book. Each one has its own pros and cons, but which one is more beneficial for a university student at this age and time? Older folks say that traditional books will always be superior to E-books, but the younger generation is trying to prove that holding a small tablet that contains all the information, on any subject, is much easier to handle than some old, ancient book. Some students face a dilemma that we shall tackle once and for all. Should there be a debate about this topic? After all, all we want is to read and extract information, and as E-books and soft copies becoming more popular, we will find out whether or not the benefits of having E-books is more beneficial than owning hard copies themselves. Soft copies are the way to go due to being easier to move around and more beneficial, but the facts do not lie and preferences do differ.

No matter what two things you choose to compare, there is always one or two similarities that you absolutely cannot avoid. The same concept applies to books. Both soft and hard copies are still books after all, they keep the information stored somewhere we can re-use. No matter where you go, you will either have a device opened or a book nearby. Information is abundant more than ever, we have all the information we will ever require at the tips of our fingers. We will always learn a thing or two from either a hard or soft copy of a book. At the end of the day, books are still books whether they are on a smart device or a piece of paper. They will always be used to either gather information for students or go on a new, exciting adventures for those who crave it.
We know that there are a lot of genres for different people, not every person will enjoy the same book as someone else. Fortunately for those who wish to read the same work as those who use the hard copies, they can read any work they desire just by searching for it and downloading it on their smart devices. The work of the great Shakespeare could be read on either a smart device or straight from the papers. Any book can either be found on the soft or hard copies, it is very rare to see a book that is not on either copies.
The structure of each copy is similar in away. The stories are built in the same order. The cover page, table of content and chapters are all the same in both versions, they must be or else one method won’t be as reliable as the other. If both versions do not follow the same structure, then one copy will never be as viable as the one with the original version.
Taking notes can be done on both of these versions, but due to glitches and unknown issues that can arise on an electronic device or kindle, it is much harder for a student or anyone, in this regards, to take notes on them. The difficulty is more apparent on the soft copy because it isn’t as flexible as the hard copy, where you can freely use a pen and pencil to correct whatever mistakes you find or notes you desire to write on the side, top, bottom or even right above the sentences. This can be considered to be difficult to do on the soft copy, but it is becoming easier as programs are trying to find ways to make it more natural for students to do take notes on their laptops, phones and kindles. This can be considered a difference and similarity within itself, but it is debatable on which side it favours more.

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Similarities aside, there are so many differences between the two. At first glance, they are almost two very completely things, but one originated from the other. The history behind books is so rich and known. Mankind wouldn’t be where it is without books, it is the reason we understood our ancestors and the thought process of those who came before us. Books were made to preserve our history and knowledge that we had accumulated ever since we had learned the ways of making paper from trees. We know how heavy books can get if we start carrying several books around with us, especially as students. It becomes a tedious task that will physically exhaust the person who is holding the books around, and that is where the soft copies play a huge role. You can freely download thousands of books on a smart device or Kindle, without needing to hold all six, heavy books you require for that Science and English class. It saves the hassle of requiring you to carry all your books to and from class. Having thousands and thousands of books downloaded on a small piece of electronic device sounds extremely viable and useful but unfortunately, the durability of a phone or kindle cannot be compared to a book. A book is known for how long it can stay in the hands of several generations, its life span is significantly higher than of an electronic device.
Holding an electronic device might not feel as great as holding an old library book that smells like dried ink and dusted up papers. A subjective yet valid point, nothing can beat an old library book that has been preserved for more than two hundred years. A kindle is an extremely fragile piece of plastic that can never re-create the same feeling a book that old can. The smell of a newly printed paper is satisfying, especially to those who enjoy reading. As time goes, the electronic device can go become outdated and must be upgraded to a better and newer version of the old one, therefore causing more of a hassle than actually owning a book or several hundreds of books.
Prices of the two can vary depending on several factors, but the soft copy wins due to books being almost half the price of the traditional books and can be almost immediately downloaded if internet is available. Some books are expensive and costly. The rarer they are, the more expensive the book can become. Books that are in excellent condition yet extremely popular and wanted are the most expensive types of books, because they are almost considered ancient artefact and usually has a rich history behind the dried up ink and dusty, old papers.

The student will always be the one who will end up choosing between the soft and hard copies, it comes down to preference, style of taking notes down and style of reading. You can never tell which one is better, but a kindle, during this age and era, does favour the newer generations due to being trendier than the traditional books. The older generations may prefer the traditional books, because of habit or preference. I honestly believe that a soft copy may be better for a casual reader or for those who enjoy reading a lot of different stories, but as a student, the hard copy wins by a long shot. Nothing can beat your own hand-written notes on your books. It might be a hassle to take your books everywhere with you but it is much easier to take down notes on a book than have problems on the soft copy version of the same book. It will always come down to preference and what the person is looking for. The prices of the hard copy version might hit your wallet a bit too hard, but it does seem worth it as I am a college student myself and I find taking notes on the hard copy version much easier than struggling with noting down information on my electronic device or Kindle.

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