As an avid reader since the time I could put words together, I’ve been a part of the paper book versus e-book debate for ages.
While e-books are more convenient, paper books will always have my heart. Nothing beats the feeling of flipping through the pages of a hard copy of my favorite book.
Yes, I’ll admit that e-books are rising in popularity because of the easy features. You can pull a book up on your phone when you’ve got the time and read away. Features like Kindle Unlimited make it easy to have all the books you can imagine at the tips of your fingers. While that would work in a pinch, you can’t deny the nostalgic feeling of a paper book.
I won’t lie, I have a Kindle and use it frequently, but when I have the chance, I’d pick my paper books any day. Picking up a new book, smelling the freshly printed pages, and feeling the story at your fingertips is priceless. E-readers don’t get to experience books like us hard copy lovers do.
As of 2021, only 9% of Americans only read e-books while 32% only read print copies. There are those that will read a book in any format, like myself, and don’t bother tuning into the age-old debate. While I prefer to flip through the pages of an actual book, I won’t complain when I have to turn to my e-books. 75% of U.S. adults will read a book in any format in 2021.
When you’re browsing through your local bookstore, you’ll have to make a decision; go the old-fashioned way with a printed book or go for an e-reader.
Reading printed books will help with memory retention and focus. When you put your phone down and pick up a book, you’re forced to put away distractions and focus on the story in front of you. You’re more likely to remember the plot of a book easier if you’re reading it off a page instead of a screen.
It also helps with sleep and eye strain. We’ve all heard the tips telling us to put our phones away an hour before bed to fall asleep easier. Nothing beats falling asleep to the whispers of pages sliding across each other as you navigate through a story.
I’ve had glasses since I was in the fourth grade and my parents would often scold me for squinting at my phone to read versus picking up a book. My eyesight continued to get worse and we came to find out that reading on my phone was a big part of that problem. Looking at tiny words on a tiny screen can cause headaches and bad eyesight, I’m a victim of both.
Nostalgia is one of the best things about printed books. Sitting down and flipping open your favorite book with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate is a very relaxing act and can help you wind down after a long day.
When browsing through a bookstore, something that might catch your eye is the cost difference between printed books and e-readers. While printed books can go for anywhere between $9 and $20, an e-reader can range from $50 to $130.
Now, the thing to think about; a bigger one-time cost can be more effective than buying $15 books every time you need a new one. E-readers, however, don’t guarantee that each book you want to download will be free. Some books may cost just as much as the printed version.
E-readers also give you the chance to bring your books with you wherever you may be; it’s easier to carry around, but also requires charge and Wi-Fi. You’ll still need to jump through some hoops in order to read when you’re away from home.
The debate is never-ending, but I know my answer. Printed books will always be better than their electronic counterpart. E-readers may be getting popular, but they’ll never reach the level that printed books are on.