The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Book bug over Net worm

The Net takes over from the TV in most students’ lives, with few bookworms sticking to the printed word. That’s why Time to Talk asked readers: ‘Would you rather read a printed book than an e-book on screen'’ But these letters show some guys and gals still value books, the good, old-fashioned way:

When people need to relax, they would be more comfortable reaching for a printed book rather than logging on. Sitting in front of a screen, straining eyes to read every word seems more like work than fun. I prefer browsing through the yellowed pages of a favourite classic or leafing through the latest Harry Potter. Printed books are handy, portable and sometimes of great personal value and e-books can never take their place.

Shreya Sarkar,

G.D. Birla Centre For Education

I would opt for a printed book rather than an electronic one as print has the power to make the subject appealing to the reader. A real book means much more to the person to whom it belongs. They can be given as presents and may act as a bridge for friendship. A book can change and inspire. Not only does an e-book lack the same spirit, they are still not easily accessible to all.

Amitava Dasgupta,

Ist year, Future Institute of Engineering & Management

Printed books are easier on the eye. They allow us to get involved with the characters and absorbed by the plot.

Megha Jalan,

M.B. Girls

Printed books will always be my first choice. They are more engrossing. While reading an e-book, one has to look at a screen for long periods of time, which is not good for the eyes. One also has sit still to read an e-book, whereas a printed book can be carried around.

Kamalika Chaudhuri,

Class XI, arts, Ballygunge Shiksha Sadan

I would prefer a printed book to an e book. A book can be a person’s best companion. Unless one can afford a laptop, an e-book can never take its place.

Rashi Daga,

Class IX, Modern High

I keep on moving from room to room with a book in hand, so a printed book is the thing for me.

Manan Agarwal,

Ist year, St Xavier’s College

E-books available on the Net are usually excerpts, so I would not like to waste my time reading them.

Sananda Sen,

IIIrd Year, Asutosh College

It’s better to read a printed book as one can go through the whole book quickly without loosing any time.

Anil Agarwal,

Calcutta University

Reading is a habit inculcated from childhood. The pleasure one gets in reading a printed book is not the same with an e-book. I can read those books whenever I want, with no hassles and no strain on the eye.

Vineeta Nair,

Class XII, Modern High

I prefer ‘real’ books to e-books. We all like doing things that involve ‘touch and feel’, just as it is more fun looking at photographs than digital versions on the computer.

Mihika Singh Verma,

Class X, Loreto House

All things ‘e’ may be the craze, but printed books are not going anywhere. It’s much easier to read a book in print than stare at the PC for a long time. It would be great to have e-versions of rare books and then take printouts. One can read reviews in the electronic media but not the whole book itself.

Aparajita Dasgupta,

Asutosh College


E-books come with a host of advantages. Important words or lines come with hyperlinks, thus relieving us from the toil of searching through reference books. But despite this, e-books can never replace printed books.

Sharmistha Dan,

Class XI, Shri Shikshayatan

lDespite the hype about e-books, I don’t think they are real substitutes for conventional printed books.

Piyal Mukherjee,

1st Year, Institute of Engineering and Management

lWith printed books, the eyes and brain are the only processors needed! Tech gurus claim e-books will eventually wipe out printed books. But, beneath the simplistic facade of print lies the feeling of permanence, the texture of paper, the smell of fresh ink, the heft of the volume in one’s hand — things that an e-book can never have. Admittedly, e-books are useful and fun, but when it comes to communicating ideas and emotions, it is the good old printed book, that remains the eternal favourite.

Name not given

lReading is not only entertainment, but it also expands the knowledge base. Many rich Bengali novels are available only in hard copy. Also, reading an entire book on screen would consume electricity. Why waste so much just to be hi-tech' Just grab a heart-melting novel and read on!

Priyanka Sil,

Class IX, Holy Child School


Fun fest

The department of law, Calcutta University, organised its intercollege social, Sampriti on April 4. Competitive events like debate, quiz, antakshari and sports like badminton, table tennis, carrom and athletics were held through the day, which ended with Utpalendu Chowdhury and Raghav Chattopadhyay upping the musical tempo.

The festive action continued at the Centenary Hall at CU the following day, for Show-Journ, the second annual fest of the mass communication and journalism department. After the ceremonial start with senior mediapersons, the events started. The theme was pro-peace, with performances dubbed “Pathway to Peace” and a “Sahara-y-Saddam”. Bands Sparsha and Anonymous concluded the day’s fun.

Srinwanti Das & Sutirtha Sengupta


Gender talk

The Women’s Studies department of Jadavpur University held a seminar on ‘Gender and Culture’ recently, throwing light on the condition of women, from ancient to modern times, rural to urban settings. Women’s changing place in public education, lack of representation in political bodies, their role in ethnic movements and the censor board’s inaction against regressive stereotypes were some of the subjects discussed on Day I. Jasodhara Bagchi started off the second day’s proceedings with a paper on gender and partition. Women’s conditions in border areas and panchayats, the attitude towards domestic help and politically correct speech followed.

Srinwanti Das & Jhinuk Saha


Puja awards

Howrah’s Bantra Rajlakshmi Balika Vidyalaya won first place in the Parle Saraswati Vandana 2003. The award, for the best Saraswati Puja held in a school, was given away on April 4, Nazrul Mancha. The judges visited over 300 schools in Calcutta, Howrah, Siliguri and Durgapur, grading on pandal design, idol, student participation, ambience, discipline and decoration. Bijoygarh Siksha Niketan for Girls, Calcutta and Siliguri Girls’ High School were jointly awarded second prize. Shibpur Hindu Girls School, B Zone Steel Town Girls’ High School, Durgapur and Naraindass Bangur Memorial Multipurpose School, Calcutta, followed in third place.


Rocking start

Another band has jumped onto the ’bandwagon’. Trinayan made its debut at the recent function of Uttarayan, a centre for the mentally challenged, held at the Bidyut Bhavan auditorium, Salt Lake. Students Shoumya, Prithviraj, Sharbajit and Genia brought with them a breath of fresh air. Still in its nascent stage, this combo from Jadavpur University and Acharya Prafulla Chandra Polytechnic aspires to be different from a conventional five-piece band, with two guitars, an octopad and (what is usually a strict-no-no in band music) a piano accordion. “There is no lead singer or musician in our band. We believe this absence of hierarchy builds camaraderie,” says Shoumya.

Trinayan started off with a rendition of Knocking on Heaven’s Door as a reminder of the war before switching to Bengali rock numbers with an impressive original composition, Parashona Karo, thrown in.

The band is not gunning for many shows, though offers are coming in. It is now time to “consolidate”, being selective about gigs. Good music, if not the most popular tunes, is its focus.

— Aritro Ganguly,

Jadavpur University

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