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Hard copy books vs. E-books

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This year Riga Business School decided that they would provide students with electronic books instead of hard copy ones. The decision about the books occurred because hard copy books are too expensive. The decision implemented because administration think that this generation students prefer to read everything on the Internet. However, Riga Business school students prefer to read printed books not only because it is easier to remember the text and stay focused, but also because book adds a preference to keep them in hands that is still important for people around the age 18-21. Nowadays the development of the Internet had led us to E-mail, e- shopping, e- banking, e-commerce, e-government, e-signatures and e-learning, etc. E-books have the faster growing reader/user population. This is a book format that most of us have heard and used a lot lately because of the widespread use of information technologies. E-books can be read through lots of different technology tools such as iphones, Blackberry, ipads, computer, Iriver eBook Reader, Oblio E-Book Plus, etc. Everything is so Internet based that even the majority of Internet users (students) need some time off during the day.

Surveying Riga Business school second year students, I found out that more than a half (61%) of the students admitted that they prefer to read printed books instead of the electronic ones. By reading a hard copy book it is easier to remember the information written and they also helps to keep the visual memory. A lot of the students claimed that they feel that they are in learning process when they are holding the book in their hands, which helps them to set their mind in the right direction and observe all the necessary information. The generation, in which the person in born, also influences the decision of reading a paper based book or an e-book. According to Kakırman Yıldız (2012); three generations describe the digital process; digital immigrants, digital hybrids and digital natives. Digital immigrants were born before 1970; digital hybrids were born in 1970-1999; and digital natives were born after 1999.

The students I surveyed are digital hybrids that were born between 1990-1995. Digital hybrids try to take advantages of technological facilities, but they are not as competent as the digital natives. The paper is much closer and intimate to them. I have talked to other students from different schools and they also said that they like to hold the book in their arms. The Undeniable fact is that using computers and all other digital devices is not healthy. Duran’s (2013) study conducted with 254 students of the Faculty of Education at Uşak University. In finding of Duran, the students stated that the most serious distress is eyestrain and back pain in spite of many positive sides of reading through the screen. In three year survey of 25,000 workers who sits in front of computer screen more that 5 hours a day, many complained of feeling depressed, anxious and reluctant to get up for work in the mornings (Koster, O).

A lot of schools in Latvia have their own library where students can choose whether to read a book electronically or paper based. Our school also has a library, but the sources there can be found mostly for MBA students. One solution can be that the library has at least some spare copies of the books that students have electronically. This would the students to choose whether to read a book electronically or to go and read it in library. If there are 61% of the students that would prefer a paper based book, then the school should consider buying the books for them or prepare a lot of copies of that book.

In the first year all BBA2 students had paper based books, and students paid the same amount of money as this year, so this should not be an excuse to provide the students with a hard copy because those are too expensive. The third solution would be that, if Riga Business school is really out of money, then successful business for them would be to buy books as an investment and then rent the books for those students who prefer the paper based books. For example, most of our books cost 100$ and over, thus rent for that kind of book for one month would be 5$. If there is 56 students and 61%, which is 34 students, prefer paper books, for each book they will earn 170$ as a minimum.

In order to keep Riga Business school students healthy and more knowledgeable, the school should consider one of the solutions provided
above. Since the attendance is really important in this school, the changes have to be made immediately. The most beneficial solution for school and students would be the solution number 3, which is not only providing all the students with the hard copy books, but also makes a significant incomes for the school too.

Works Cited

Duran, E. (2013). Investigation on views and attitudes of students in Faculty of Education about reading and writing on screen. Educational Research and Review, Vol. 8 (5), 203-211, March 2013.

Kakırman Yıldız, A. (2012). Dijital yerliler gerçekten yerli mi yoksa dijital melez mi?, International Journal of Social Science, V. 5, Issue 7, 819-833, December 2012. Retrieved from http://www.jasstudies.com/Makaleler/1563125680_y%C4%B1l d%C4%B1zasiyekak%C4%B1rman_819-833.pdf

Koster, Olinka. Why using a computer can cause depression. Daily Mail. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-153281/Why-using-cause-depression.html

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