Print vs. Digital – it’s not a case of which is better

Over the course of my second year at Sussex University I have found I use digital resources far more than printed ones. From the very beginning of each of my four modules the reading lists have been posted weekly on the VLE along with links to sections of chapters/journal articles/websites along with them. In the first few weeks of this 12 week term, I attempted to borrow books from the library but due to the high demand for Geography resources they were mostly unavailable. During the next few weeks I continued to use just digital resources because I could easily access them at home. I find searching for, and reading, specific sections of a book online much less intimidating than looking through an entire book.

This is not to say that I never use printed resources in my studies. I still use my two dictionaries of Human and Physical Geographies (Blackwell Publishing) as well as a book of Social Geography (Del Casino, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing) for referencing and looking up terms I don’t understand. I also have books from my first year which I have kept in the hope they will come in handy at some point in the future. These include books on development, geology, globalisation and so on. At the moment however, these books sit on my bookcase untouched when an essay is due, whilst digital resources (readings online) make up the majority of my bibliography.

It is not a case of whether digital is better than print because both do still appeal to me. It is the accessibility and ease of digital which gives me little choice but to continue using them instead of printed versions. If anything, the use of digital resources has meant that I read and explore sources further, expanding my knowledge on things I am particularly interested in. I can pick up my laptop and read an online journal article in 10 minutes or so, opposed to spending my time searching the library for something longer and harder to understand. 

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