When human beings realized that natural events and happenings could be understood with observation and focused study, they transferred those events on parchment to study them deeply and preserve it for a later time and people. Hence civilizations began to flourish and so did learning. As civilizations and cultures evolved so did things. The discovery of the wheel and then paper marked a turning point in the history of mankind. Man entered an era of learning and knowledge. All great cultures which have ruled did so due to superior armies or knowledge. The Greeks are still remembered for Aristotle and Plato, two great philosophers as well as their great army and Alexander for his victories.

Books are the foundation of all academic evolution and now they are being replaced by e-books. E-books are books which have to be read on screens, on screens of tablets, I-phones, laptops, computers and other such devices. According to a recent study, more than 50 percent of the youth prefer to study on screens instead of hard books in our country. Course books of various disciplines as well as other books are preferred on screens, I-phones, iPods and laptops allow you the ease to carry hundreds of e-books with you wherever you go comfortably.

Comparing the two systems, I think e-books are economical and relatively easily accessible, as Internet provides access to online books, but one cannot think of studying for long duration on screens as too much exposure to radiations is likely to damage ones eyesight. On the other hand, books in hard form may require cupboards and libraries but provide you the ease to study for hours without any hassle or danger to your health. Flavor of having a book in solid form between your hands is an enjoyment unsurpassed by anything.

Many individuals are hesitant to shift their mode of learning from paper to screens, claiming the comfort of having a book in your hand makes it easier to focus. Nevertheless, change and evolution is the reality of life. The only permanent thing in this world is change. Some changes have more lasting effects, it is to be seen whether e-books will be able to remain as a source of knowledge or will man invent even more easier ways of gaining knowledge.

MUHAMMAD RIZWAN RIAZ,

Lahore, December 4.