Why Do We Need Books?

Updated on November 27, 2017
Fawadaslam95 profile image

Fawad is studying Mechanical Engineering at Air University, Islamabad.

Books have always been a very important source of formal knowledge for human beings. Since the very inception of the age of reading and writing, books have been serving as a primary source of authentic and reliable information. In fact, books were the only way of gathering information up until the advent of the internet. With the advent of powerful search engines, there is increased inclination among people to use internet to find information and facts. However, books continue to play an important role in quest for knowledge. In this modern age of internet, what is the relevance and importance of books in our academic and social lives? This article attempts to answer this question.

In modern day and age there are two primary ways of obtaining knowledge. One option is painstakingly sifting through pages and pages of book (in most cases more than one), just to get your hands on required piece of information. This indeed is a very difficult and time taking procedure. Second available option is browsing a particular topic on internet and one can find the required information in seconds. For example, if a student needs information about the events transpiring in a particular year in "American civil war", he/she can simply search that particular year on any search engine and can come up with everything needed on that topic. Therefore, one might argue that internet is efficient and fastest way to search information.

On the other hand, when one attempts to find information using a book, the task suddenly becomes a lot more demanding, exhaustive and time-taking. Now the task involves painstakingly sifting through words in pages of a book to find required information. Moreover, in books the most of the information that we see is not exactly what we are looking for. Still we might be able to understand and comprehend that information too. While getting through this process finally we can find the required facts that we were looking for. Thus, during the process of searching for required facts in a book, we can also acquire additional information about the topic. In other words, while getting through books we might have to interact with a lot of irrelevant facts but it might be worth the trouble because we end up with more than required knowledge. In addition, author of the books are well-known and they have pursued their careers in the fields about which they are writing in the books. Therefore, the information provided in the books is bound to be authentic, legitimate, and indisputable and thus it can be quoted on any platform.

The temptation to bank on internet to gather facts, knowledge and information is very understandable as it is the fastest way to get things done, but there is something fundamentally wrong with doing so. Yes, by using internet we can get our hands on facts and information as fast as we can; but the problem with that is, the knowledge obtained from internet might be very superficial and shallow. Once we barely get to the facts that we need from a website, we do not bother going in to the details or specifics of those facts. Consequently, we can never get in depth understanding of the issue about which those facts are referring to.

There are certain situations in which we are being rushed by a scheduled assignment or any assessment test and time is of essence. In such situation, the utility of the internet kicks in. It will be understandable if a student relies on the internet to do the job. In fact it will be very reasonable thing to do. The balance swings to the wrong side when students rely on internet to obtain knowledge on a particular topic using internet as an alternative of a book. For Example, while gathering information about a well researched project, it will not be adequate to bank solely on internet. A book must be consulted for this purpose.

While internet can serve as a quick-fix for in time completion of an assignment or during preparation for an assessment or a test, it's the books which enable us to enhance our understanding about a particular topic and attain an in depth in-sight in a particular matter and thus, we should prefer the use of books over the internet whenever we need detailed information about a subject matter.

Which is better way for gathering information?

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© 2017 Fawad ul Hassan

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    • Fawadaslam95 profile image
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      Fawad ul Hassan 2 weeks ago from Islamabad,Pakistan

      Welcome Verlie.

      Have a nice day!

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 2 weeks ago from Canada

      Thanks for reply Fawad, have a great evening.

    • Fawadaslam95 profile image
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      Fawad ul Hassan 2 weeks ago from Islamabad,Pakistan

      Yes, exactly. Can’t agree more with what you said.

      Unfortunately, there are people whose twitter feeds shape their opinions, views and even beliefs.

      As a result, we are seeing more and more delusional perspectives and biased opinions.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 2 weeks ago from Canada

      I know, I should have made my comment longer to tell you how I arrived at that. I was thinking about how people use Twitter to share information, and seem to be satisfied with that minuscule amount of knowledge. It's just so shallow. Yet people believe they are 'informed'.

    • Fawadaslam95 profile image
      Author

      Fawad ul Hassan 2 weeks ago from Islamabad,Pakistan

      @VerlieBurroughs I didn't write a single word about social media in the whole article :)

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 2 weeks ago from Canada

      Fawad, I agree. Search engines, and social media alone are not enough.