Essay On Computers Cannot Replace Books

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“A home without books is a body without soul.” ~ Cicero

About three months ago, I was visiting relatives at their new place. Approaching the last room, I noticed there wasn’t any sort of small library—or even a shelf holding a book or two.

The shelves were empty, and I guessed they were still deciding on what to do with them. Being an absolute lover of reading, I suggested they get books, or build a small library—the couches were especially perfect for reading sessions.

When I said this, one of my relatives pointed a finger to the television next to me and said, “Who needs a book when you have a TV?”

Lost for words, I stood still.

In my family, we were raised on books. You can find a library in every room you enter; books literally invade our space. I consider books an essential part of everyone’s life, and I respect and admire anyone with a book in his hand.

To glimpse people with books is soul-elevating, and extremely promising.

In my opinion, televisions, electronic books, cellphones, computers and any other form of modern technology can never take the place of a book. If you asked me why, I would say stones can never replace diamonds.

Here are five reasons why I think books are irreplaceable:

1. Pleasure.

When I was still at school, I used to feverishly wait to buy the books for the upcoming semester. In class, I would stick my head between the fresh pages and keep on smelling them ’til I was out of breath.

The truth is, there is a pleasure in books that no computer or cellphone can replace. It’s about the feel of the hard cover, the sound of turning the pages, the smell of paper and the ability to hold the entire book in my lap like a newborn baby. I even enjoy when my eyes grow tired and the letters become blurry.

It’s also a pleasure to fall asleep with a book in hand, and to wake up next to one. At least a book doesn’t have any radiation exposure that might cause our system harm—it’s completely safe!

2. Library Enjoyment.

I always say, “Put me in a library, and I can live there forever.” For me, visiting a library is pure joy. Friends who frequently accompany me know that it’s almost impossible for me to leave in less than one or two hours.

Frankly, shopping for a tablet is way different than shopping for a book. A library is a representation of the past, the present and the future. It’s a place where the living and the dying are joined together on shelves. There is an inexplicable satisfaction in walking between the shelves, smelling the books, reading the titles and touching the covers.

Libraries are like heaven filled with words. Wherever we look we can see letters in different sizes and shapes. I consider experiencing a library similar to experiencing enlightenment. No thoughts; no mental or emotional distractions—only peace of mind.

3. A Tribute to the Past.

The world today has come a long way in the history of writing. From the Egyptian hieroglyphs to the Indus script, this earth has witnessed many indigenous ways of writing before the keyboard was invented. Before the invention of the pen, the ancients wrote with a quill and ink.

Sadly, the usage of computers nowadays has altered the history of writing. We no longer appreciate where we are today. Thus, I reckon that reading a book is a form of paying tribute to the past.

Books are a bridge that links us to all the great writers. They remind us of Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, James Joyce, Thoreau and so many other authors and poets who are an unforgettable gift to the world.

4. Freedom of Choice and Discipline.

I associate reading a book with the freedom of choice. When we go to buy a book, we know what we want, and we basically get it. If we don’t like what we have seen, we deliberately walk out of the library empty-handed.

Technology, however, has limited this freedom. Personally, if I go online to search for something specific, I end up staying on the internet for at least two hours when all I needed was five minutes. Same goes for watching television; instead of watching one movie, we end up watching two.

The reason? Modern technology is limitless, and humans are greedy by nature. On the other hand, a book is limited. It creates discipline in our life and a practice for choosing what we want—not what is available to us.

5. A Best Friend.

For some, a dog is a best friend; for me, a book is. A book has the capability of acting as a loyal partner. It is our property that can never leave us. We hold it, we fall asleep with it, we take it with us to other countries, we read it and we feel every word.

A relationship between a book and a person is an unbreakable one. There are books I have read that I can never forget; they work as a daily reminder in my head, and as eminent teachers.

Moreover, books are memories from actual friends. I am awed by the vintage books that my mother owns, some of which are memories from old friends she never saw again.

Realistically, we can’t live without modern technology. We can’t deny that it makes our lives a whole lot easier. But I think that we should never forget the presence of a book.

A book is a friend, a lover and a part of us.

It is the only bond that connects us with the past and builds the hopes of the future.

Hold a cell phone and carry a laptop. But never fail to put a book in your bag. It works wonders!


Relephant Read:

A Girl who Reads. {NSFWish Video}


Author: Elyane Youssef

Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: Thomas Leuthard/Flickr // Andy Bagley/Flickr


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About Elyane Youssef

Elyane S. Youssef is an extraterrestrial who was given birth by Earthlings. While living on planet Earth, she fell in love with art, books, nature, writing, photography, traveling, Elyane finds her joy in backpacking and bonding with locals. To see the faces she interacts with on her travels, you can follow Face of the World on Instagram or Facebook. Besides getting on and off planes, she is in a serious relationship with words and hopes to inspire as many people as possible through them. Once her mission is accomplished on Earth, she will return to her planet to rejoin her extraterrestrial brothers and sisters. In case you're wondering, yes, she is still willingly obsessed with Frida Kahlo. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


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  • No computers are' not.....

    Because in computers (Internet) information could be wrong as well as correct. So in many cases it could lead you to a wrong end. While in books everything is revised and reviewed so whatever present is correct for sure. In conclusion, books are better than computers for all means including EDUCATION.

  • Scientific America Debate

    Choosing to read on a computer or going to the library can be a tough decision, to overcome this you might want to know which is going to be a more comfortable and satisfying experience. That’s why I prepared a paper on the advantages and disadvantages of books and computers:
    Reading on a computer has it's benefits yet it's complicated and studies have shown that if you read on a computer you will forget more then if you read a book or even a magazine: "Studies in the past two decades indicate that people often understand and remember text on paper better than on a screen." This is a passage taken from an article called: The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: Why Paper Still Beats Screens. Also computers can cause headaches because of the constant light going strait into your eyes.
    Books are big but they are simpler and can be carried almost everywhere. "Paper's greatest strength may be its simplicity." this is a quote also taken from an article called The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: Why Paper Still Beats Screens. Also some people would rather have the actual physical thing to read on, also people get more satisfaction when they finish a book:
    All in all both can be useful depending on where, and what kind of mood you are in.

  • No books are better

    I think books are better than computers because book have better grammar than a computer does. Sometimes book may have the wrong information but most of the time the information is right. Computers have the wrong information but some sight have the right info it just takes time to find a web site that has the right information.

  • Books Superior to Computers

    Generally, books are superior to computers in learning. Books teach people grammar, spelling, and punctuation through reading. The reliability of the book is as influential as the reliability of an Internet site, however, in the learning process. Learning from a poorly written book or a comic book is about as effective as learning from a junk website.

  • No, books is better than computer in terms of reading not research.

    Computer as so many disadvantages , weight gaining , eye problems, you can't even move around.
    Plus nobody wants to be fat like a big pig at home, anyways we all have our learning strategics, but for me books is better than computer in terms of reading not research, so deal with it.

  • No computer is not better

    Computer's rays are very harmfull to our eyes and we can read and learn with books any time ,any where and inn any position but in computer, our mind is not too much concentrated on what we read we only concentrate on the tabs and the viruses and the lights etc etc thats why books are better than computer

  • Computers have a lot of information but books are better for learning.

    Books are better because they don't create eye strain like reading off of computers do. There is just too much information available at on computers also. You can't keep on track because there is always a video or another webpage that holds more information. It keeps you from being able to focus on one thing well. Then the information you gained doesn't set in deep enough to actually learn it.

  • No, both have value.

    Computers and books both have a lot of information, and both have value. Also, while computers have a lot of information quickly, it is not always correct. People need to be careful with what sources they trust because anyone can create a webpage or post an opinion. It doesn't make it true. The majority of research reading I do online is from a scholarly journal that publishes online, which is still far more reliable than a webpage.

  • No I don't, book are better than computer

    Well , i would say books is the best to read from because as they say, for you to be able to read effectively you must concentrate, which means giving your full attention. Reading with computer is also good but there are more disadvantages to computer and some of the disadvantages is eye sight problem and you can take book anywhere for reading but you cant take computer, just when you are at home bored.

  • Because books give true information and they are written by true authors and published by true publishers.

    Internet - anyone can make a website and convince people that everything on the site is factual but the information made up by the person is actually fictional. Take Wikipedia for example - anyone can edit, even you can. There are no true authors and publishers for internet websites, however you can rely on the information you read in books because they have been written by real people (authors) and they have been published by real publishes who approve the contents.

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