Navigating Change Opinions

Paperback books aren’t essential to Brophy’s curriculum

By William Borders ’16
THE ROUNDUP

Photo by Alec Vick '15 -- Many rarely used books such as these line the sleeves of the Info Commons.  Are we reaching a point in history where digital books may replace printed books?
Photo by Alec Vick ’15 — Many rarely used books such as these line the sleeves of the Info Commons. Are we reaching a point in history where digital books may replace printed books?

When was the last time you checked out a book from the library?

When did you last see someone looking at a book in the library?

For me the answer is never.

We are reaching a point in history where digital books may replace bound books on a shelf.

Printed books in the library are unnecessary now that technology dominates Brophy’s curriculum and our culture in general.

Yes, books may have a better feel than eBooks. But it’s not worth cutting down trees to print unused books and taking up space that could be used for other things.

The vast majority of Brophy students have a smart phone in addition to an iPad, enabling them to acquire almost any book at almost anytime.

With the iBook app and Amazon you can download most books for a similar price as the printed version.

However, there are downsides to an all-digital book regime. Of course books still serve an important purpose in our world.

The brightness of electronic screens strains your eyes after lengthy periods of reading. Distractions from things like message or social network notifications are also possible.

This does not happen with a paperback book.

But the upsides far outweigh discomforts such as these. According to care2.com, 30 million trees are used up every single year to make books that high schools like Brophy use.

We have iPads for a reason. And with three-quarters of the entire school owning an iPad, we should definitely switch from paperback to eBook.

In the process the thousands of books that we currently own could go to the local Ryan House charity to cheer up kids.

We already buy our textbooks using eBook.

Why not buy every book from eBook and give the books to someone or someplace that will use them instead of them gathering dust on a shelf?