Instigator / Pro

On measure, the majority use of digitalized books outweighs equivalent majority use of paper books.


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 4 votes and with 13 points ahead, the winner is...

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Last updated date
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Time for argument
One week
Max argument characters
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Two weeks
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Multiple criterions
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Contender / Con

Topic: On measure, the advantages of digitized books outweighs that of paper books.


use: take, hold, or deploy (something) as a means of accomplishing or achieving something; employ.
digitized: convert (pictures, text, or sound) into a digital form that can be processed by a computer.
paper books: A book paper is a paper that is designed specifically for the publication of printed books.
outweighs: more significant than.

BOP is shared
PRO: Must prove that the advantages of digitized books are stronger in significance than paper books.
CON: Must prove that the advantages of digitized books are weaker in significance than paper books.

1. No new arguments are to be made in the final round.
2. Rules are agreed upon and are not to be contested.
3. Sources can be hyperlinked or provided in the comment section.
4. Definitions are to be accepted, however one is allowed to add more definitions if needed.
5. A breach of the rules should result in a conduct point deduction for the offender.

Round 1
Thank you Novice_II,
Topic: On measure, the majority use of digitalized books outweighs equivalent majority use of paper books.

Note: The use of the word "outweighs" refers to the significance of the two opposing topics. It is not applicable for any Kritik, and should not be taken in any other definition.

BOP is to be equal for both sides. 


I do believe some clarification is needed. When I created this debate, I failed to notice the incomprehensibility of the topic. So, to avoid voter confusion, a diffused topic statement would be:

"The advantages of digitized books are stronger in significance than paper books."

Now, moving on from that, voters should take note of specific wording here. I am not denying that paper books have specific advantages, nor am I arguing that digitized books are flawless in nature. I am merely stating that the significance of the arguments for and against digitized books are weighed in favor of the former. 

Argument 1: Environmental Costs

According to Google Books, there have been 129,864,880 books published since the advent of the Gutenberg Press. Since this is such a lucrative business, paper mills and manufacturing plants have been creating the vital material for books, paper. 

Paper is made out of cellulose fiber, which is most easily found from wood pulp, which you get from trees. Other alternatives such as bamboo or cotton have never become very popular among people, which makes trees vital to the production of books and other such things. With this need for production however, comes very excessive use. According to ribblepack:

In the last 40 years, paper usage has grown 400%. This means that over two million trees are felled every day for global paper consumption, meaning four billion trees are cut every year to serve our paper needs.
4 BILLION. And that number's growing. Albeit the majority of that is used for other purposes, but even so, a considerable 

Let's compare this to digitized books. The average paper use is ONLY equivalent to ONE copy of each book. This copy is then propagated across the internet and is capable of being spread to billions without more than one book needed. Digitized books are so much better for the overall environment that I do not believe it is possible to contest this point. I do hope voters keep this in mind.

Argument 2: Human Costs

Whether you go to a bookstore or buy them online, it requires energy, time and resources to actually let you bring your book to read. The simplicity of E-Books is that not only can you retrieve your book instantly, for a cheaper price, it is very much possible that it saves huge amounts of resources. 

Argument 3: Inflexibility

Some people don't like having to sort out stacks of books on shelves in order to find something interesting. They take up space, they are prone to damage, and they cannot be updated, possibly allowing false information to spread widely. With E-Books, all you need is a tablet, a Kindle or a phone to access millions of books, in your pocket. 

E-Readers are comparable to an I-Pod. Although it costs money to get the music, once you have it, you can listen to it freely, no matter where you are, without all the struggles of packing all of it in to bags or boxes, when we can just store it in a device with very little cost to ourselves. 


I don't want to ramble on for too long. I want to see what angle my opponent will take before getting into detail. For now, this is it. Don't let length deceive you, these arguments carry considerable strength. I await CON's argument. 

  • I will predicate my argument on basic notions. First, the use of printed books improves the educational experiences of students, teachers, and children by bettering their ability to interact with their material when compared to digital books. This is imperative for the intellectual development of all people. Likewise, the negative health implications of digital books are significant and evidently present, making them consequentially worse than printed ones. Thirdly, I will argue that printed materials are more accessible to most people, especially to the poor and needy, and people in less fortunate regions. Thus, if they take the majority of the market, it will lead to better societal outcomes. Given that this debate is over the scope of the entire world rather than a particular region, the use of printed books will provide the best outcomes considering our current social predicament. 

a. Education/Stimulus

b. Health

c. Accessibility
  • The accessibility of printed books is self-evidently superior to that of digital works. Consequently, a majority use of them will be of greater benefit to most people including the less fortunate in our society as they do not require electronic devices, and thus, additional costs associated with internet services as well as available wifi. This especially applies to less developed and developing countries. Unicef informs us that "two-thirds of the world's school-age children have no internet access at home." For them, it is impossible to even participate in digital reading, especially considering that their countries are not at a stage of advancement to lay the groundwork for the spread of this technology. Printed materials are much more available to them, and thus, their majority usage will be more beneficial. 

  • I simply interpret pro's constructive case to be a collection of nonsense. I will encourage the voters to observe inadequacy on three primary fronts
    • (1) Irrelevance: pro chooses to divert both on and off-topic, bringing up statements that are immaterial. 
    • (2) Lack of sufficient evidence: pro does not cite any sources for the majority of his claims, rather, he uses vague caveats and exaggerations when he can; they are theatrical and should be ignored. 

I. "Environmental Costs"
  • We can primarily ignore pro's awkward tangents about the history of printed books as well as the total number of trees cut down, given that trees are mostly cut down to clear land for development and for construction. Pro even admits this, yet states that information he previously acknowledged as off-topic remains considerable, meaning that he believes it is both relevant and not relevant, a logical contradiction. The error is obvious, and pro needs to base his argument solely on the creation of printed books. 
  • Impact-wise, pro cites no sources for any of his claims so they not only instantly lose credibility but provide us with no reason to consider them valid. He makes considerations for trees used but does not consider the energy consumed in the production of electronic devices, and the electricity consumption that comes with their regular charging, rendering his analysis not only fatuous but incomplete. Electronic devices require energy consistently—every day. The same cannot be said for books, so the environmental cost is not an argument for his position and may likely be an argument against it. 

II. "Human Costs"
  • One would be hard-pressed to even detect an argument here. Pro says that buying books "requires energy," as if someone expending minimal energy is a bad thing. If pro believes this, please, what is the argument for that proposition? Otherwise, we can discard such a useless claim that presumes we all ought to sit on our couches for as long as possible and avoid doing anything. The same could be said for time considerations, especially given that it takes to both download and purchase e-books, which would undercut his own argument. If anything, making people more active would be a benefit rather than a drawback, and an insignificant time discrepancy for a product that has all the above-stated comparative benefits is far from detracting. 

III. "Inflexibility"
Some people don't like having to sort out stacks of books on shelves in order to find something interesting. 
  • This is not an argument, nor is it relevant to the resolution given that we are not debating whether a vague group of "some people" like or dislike anything in particularThe resolution does not even entail that people must own collections of books in this manner—only that a majority use of printed books would be better than a majority use of digital ones. Given that, we should see a retraction of this point in round two. 
  • Knowing that two-thirds of families don't even have internet access, I think it is safe to say that digital reading would be "inflexible," to the majority of people. 
 "they are prone to damage..." 
  • Any electronic device is prone to damage, and electronic devices are very expensive to repair so this would undercut pro's own argument. Given that, we should see a retraction of this point in round two. 
  • Digitized books require an electronic device. Taking this into account, an accurate picture of our cost evaluation must first add the initial cost of the device itself with costs for internet services/data plans which are reoccurring on a regular period. Then to this, we add the additional cost of every electronic book purchased. Printed books do not have this problem—for them, the cost is simply the price of the book and nothing more. Thus, it seems likely, even plausible that digital books are more expensive than printed ones qualitatively. 

  • While I cite studies from scholarly journals and other sources for credible research/data analysis, my opponent decides to cite his opinion and other compelling reasons such as "some people may not like x." I appeal to the voters' value for sound reason and instrumental features of empiricism. As of round one, the decision seems obvious. The majority use of printed material outweighs the majority use of digital ones. 
Round 2
Damn it. I got to research topics more. Really thought this was debatable, but apparently not. 

  • I accept my opponents concession, and admission of the idiocy of his argument.  

Round 3
  • I don't understand why you are wasting my time. Just pass on the round, rather than making me wait 7 days. 

Round 4
  • Extend.