Books vs. Internet: Whose Information Is More Accurate?

In Discussion by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson

library computers

Roger Tagholm reports on a makeshift library called Star Books (named for a nearby Starbucks) that has been set up at the Occupy London protest site near St. Paul’s Cathedral. Speaking about why he set up the library at the protest site, Ashley Bignall says, “I think a lot of young people get their information from the internet, but if you want to check something factual, it’s important to see it in a book.”

Another Star Books patron, seventeen-year-old Francis Haseldon said, “I think people are gradually dissociating more from books which is a shame. I think the act of reading makes you think — you confront ideas and opinions. I love the idea of the Occupy Library — a permanent place where people can interact with new ideas, or look at old ideas in a new way.”

So, are print books and the finite nature of the printed page a better source of information than the shifting sands of the internet? The “books vs. internet” argument is not new, nor has it seen a shortage of advocates for both sides.

While books have earned a trusted spot in our culture as legitimate sources of information, having been vetted by an entire network of people, the internet does not always have that same quality assurance — but it does have the wisdom of the crowds, relying that at least one reader will catch and point out the mistakes.

So tell us, do you trust books or the internet for information?

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.