It was expected that e Books would mark the decline of paper books. After all, digital music signed the death warrant for CDs, long after tape recordings and vinyl had sunk without a trace. When it comes to books versus their paper printed cousins the debate still continues.
There are protagonists on both sides of the fence and it actually appears that paper books are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. We happen to like both options and hope they will both stick around. Both have their benefits and disadvantages. Let’s discuss a few of them.
There are fans of printed books that will sing their praises from the rooftops. There’s nothing like the feel of a real book in your hand and the pleasure to be had from turning the pages. Printed books have a certain smell and the pages rustle when turned. There’s something very intimate about reading a paper book and is another feature that can’t be replicated with an electronic book version.
E book readers on the other hand claim that their electronic reading device takes a whole lot of strain from their shoulders. When traveling they are a delight. Rather than having to choose one book to take on a trip it’s possible to take your whole library with you. All that’s required is a few inches space in a bag.
Studies show children learn better from printed books
Research has shown that for reading comprehension, printed books are much better. Literacy building in children is improved with a printed book when compared to an ebook. This is because of the centralized focus on the story and the fact that a paper book is much easier to share. Interactive add-ons are possible with an ebook but this doesn’t include conversation. And a child is not encouraged to explore using language.
Production costs are reduced with an ebook
E books are obviously much cheaper to produce than a printed book because far fewer resources are needed. The bulk of the cost for e books is tied up in the manufacture of the reading device and after that everything is digital.
Sales of e books and e-readers have slowed while hardback sales have rocketed
E-readers and e books enjoyed a peak in sales around 2014, but ever since then the numbers have slowed. Hardback sales, on the other hand, are on the increase. In 2016, figures from the Publishing Association show that ebook sales had fallen by 17%. While printed books had enjoyed an 8% rise. It also seemed that publishers were pushing the boat out with production values soaring. Bookshops were filling up with bright and colorful books full of textured pages. Modern books now have more frills to catch the readers eye.
The real truth of the matter is that readers have it better nowadays than ever before. There are a number of options on the market and no reason for a reader not to enjoy their favorite pastime. Reading faster may be the way to go because there is now so much choice out there. Rather than worrying which method is best we should be reading as much as we can, at every opportunity. Which ever way suits us best.