Paper books are tangible objects that feed into the satisfaction and gratification that you get after finishing a good book.
With the rise of the digital age, digitalizing books for the masses was bound to happen sooner or later.
But the fact is, paper books will always remain as the superior format for enjoying a good read. The feel of a book in your hands can never be beaten by an e-book reader or your cellphone.
Are paper books better than e-books?
Paper books are generally better than e-books. They don’t strain your eyes that much and give a sense of accomplishment. The only disadvantage of paper books is they aren’t as cost-effective as e-books.
Why are paper books better than e-books?
- Focus. Books are designed to encourage focus and concentration for extended periods of time, while e-books can have distracting features that deter you from reading.
- Progress. With physical books, you are able to feel a sense of satisfaction from being able to see and feel the progress you are making with your latest read.
- Annotating. Some people love annotating and making their own notes in the margins of their books, which gives them a deeper and more personal understanding of the book. Being able to highlight and draw connections is great for visual learners. With e-books, writing is usually pretty limited.
- Used books. Some independent bookstores might purchase your used books, which is a great way to make a little bit of money and recycle your old books so that they can find a new home. Purchasing used books is also economical because you can get your books for cheap.
- Experience. The reading experience you get from being able to hold a book and make your way through its plot cannot be replicated when you are scrolling through an e-book.
- Better for kids. Being able to learn from physical books creates a more engaging experience for kids to learn from. E-books are less interactive, especially if parents want to get involved in helping their kids.
- Health. Studies have shown that reading from a screen, whether it is your cellphone, or your e-book reader can negatively impact your sleep. The light that is emitted from your screen can have a huge impact on your health in the long run.
- Memory. Studies have been conducted to show that reading a physical book yields a higher likelihood of being able to recall the information compared to reading the digital version. For students, this is an important tip when trying to decide between the e-book version of your textbook or the physical print copy.
- Cost. Devices to read your e-books can run you a hefty amount, depending on the type of device you get. Whether it’s a tablet, an e-reader, or a cellphone, this will certainly cost you a pretty penny. Books are generally more cost-efficient in this way because they will usually run you around $20.
- Escape. For many people, going offline is key to staying sane. Being able to avoid another screen yet still stay productive and absorb new information is one of the biggest pros to physical books.
- Design. Plenty of effort goes into the design and style of a novel that continues to appeal to readers. For many readers, the appearance of the cover is what draws them in to choose the book in the first place. Having a physical copy of this means that you can appreciate the quality of design even further.
What’s wrong with e-books?
One of the main problems with e-books is the fact that you are required to stare at a screen for extended periods of time.
This tends to hurt your eyes and cause your eyes to strain themselves with the bright screens. While e-book readers in recent years have been designed to help this problem, the case still stands that books are readable no matter the condition.
When it comes to e-books, in order to even begin enjoying them, a device is needed.
This means that cables, batteries, and a connection is required in order to access your book, which can be a nuisance when you just want to relax and dive into your next read.
Paper books are accessible no matter what the case is and require no preparation whatsoever.
E-books need some sort of device to function, whether it is your cellphone or your e-book reader, which means that internet connection and a full charge of battery life are required read without interruptions.
What are the advantages of e-books?
With one device, you are able to have access to millions of books all in the palm of your hand, which is one of the biggest advantages of e-books.
This portable option makes for a lightweight and convenient format that is a no-brainer when you need to take entertainment with you. With all of your books on your cellphone, you’ll never forget about bringing anything along and you won’t have to compromise when it comes to trying to decide which of your favourite books to bring along.
You are also able to read e-books in the dark with e-book readers or your cellphone, which makes it even more convenient no matter where you are.
Being able to download your books and store them makes for great entertainment, especially if you don’t have access to the internet.
Accessing your books offline means that you can use it whenever you need to without a hitch. Downloading e-books takes no time at all and will be delivered to you moments after you have purchased the book. This certainly beats having to leave your house to visit the bookstore or the library.
E-books are a huge improvement on the environment compared to their paper counterparts.
E-books totally eliminate the need to harvest trees to create the paper for our books. The process of creating paper books takes a huge toll on our environment when you factor in the transportation and machinery needed to complete the entire process.
Another great thing about e-books are the features that are included in your download.
E-books now have extra content that go along with the books itself. This creates an interactive experience for the reader that is more exciting and engaging.
E-books tend to feature links to video content that adds to the entire experience. There is also the option of listening to the audiobook version, which creates a completely new experience for the reader.
Accessing your e-book through an e-reader also usually means that there is a built-in dictionary. This is an extremely useful feature that you can utilize with the tap of a finger. This certainly beats having to look up a word from the physical copy of your book and makes absorbing new vocabulary that much quicker and easier.
Should I invest in an e-book reader or keep spending my money on physical books?
While investing in some fancy new technology might seem like an expensive and daunting feat, e-book readers end up being much more cost-friendly in the long run, especially if you are a big reader who loves constantly purchasing the new and latest releases.
Purchasing e-books ends up saving you a lot of money because they are cheaper to produce without the need for paper and packaging.
E-books also tend to give you better access to self-published and independent authors that you may not find in a traditional bookstore. With an e-book reader, having access to these titles can expose you to a whole world of titles that you never may have even considered before.
Ultimately, it depends on your own personal preferences. Many people are vehemently against e-book readers for the very reasons that they simply cannot replace the experience of a physical paper book.
And for many others who have made the switch, they have found it easier on the wallet and enjoy the convenience of having so many books at their disposal without the environmental impact.
Are e-books more popular now than paper books?
E-books account for 20% to 30% of book sales in 2018. So, it is safe to say that e-books are not any more popular than paper books are today.
Paper books are still beloved by the masses because of the reading experience it offers, among myriad of benefits that simply cannot be replicated through e-readers.
However, that is not to say that e-books do not have their own set of benefits either. But even so, old school print on paper seems to continue to be the superior format of reading books, despite audiobooks being on the rise as well.
Despite the advantages that digitalization brings, e-book sales are still on a downward trend for a number of reasons.
- Paper books are easily shared between friends and family, thus creating a sense of community.
- Paper books make for special and personal gifts compared to that of an e-book.
- Being able to model good reading habits to kids is an important skill parents are prioritizing. Staying glued to a screen to demonstrate this seems counterproductive.
- Books tend to be kept forever, attaching a nostalgia factor to it.