Printed Books and eBooks: What's To Like and Not To Like
I love reading - books, articles, blogs, training manuals, etc. May it be a Paperback, Hardbound, or even an eBook edition. I know some who prefer a printed book, there’s nothing wrong with that. But there are also some that want an eBook.
My love for eBooks started in 2011 when I was able to collect eBooks of fiction novels. Before that, all I had were printed copies of paperback or hardbound which actually took so much space that I needed to donate them or give them to those interested. As a result, I had to download eBook copies so I’d still have them albeit digitally.
So let’s delve into the way people prefer to read nowadays, most of what’s written are from what I learned from my family and friends and some research I did online.
Paperback / Printed books are reliable and traditional. What’s to LIKE and NOT TO LIKE?
Printed books are reliable and traditional and for me, it’s more personal. It is more expensive than eBooks most of the time and is often seen as more valuable because you can collect it and handover to the next generations. Although it also takes up physical space and is a challenge to bring them with you when traveling.
Some also find it easier to read a printed book for a long time because it does not require charging and doesn’t heat up as compared to an eBook on your tablet or reader. Most of the articles I read say that college students or those who read educational (course-related books) still prefer printed books.
It also gives you a more exciting relationship when reading a printed book - a physical product. You can hold the book in your hands, make notes in the margin, and highlight in different colors the content you want to remember the most.
It makes sense that this format is what most college students and the more mature generation prefers. An estimated 66% of readers in the United States believe that printed books offer a more unique and fulfilling reading experience according to the blog of Rob Errera titled “Paperbacks vs eBooks Statistics 2022 at the tonerbuzz.com
One of the most important benefits of a printed book for me is that it can be signed by the author and it has other sentimental value especially if it’s the first edition.
Imagine, you get to experience the smell of freshly printed pages, the feel of paper beneath your fingertips, and the hesitation to stop reading when you know you are nearing the last chapter. It really gives you a unique reading experience, you feel it, you smell it, and makes you remember the printed book on a more emotional level.
eBooks are convenient to have, a space saver, and a cheaper alternative. What’s to LIKE and NOT TO LIKE?
Since it’s a digital product, it is easy to bring anywhere. They are portable and can be stored on your smartphone, Kindle, iPad, tablet, or laptop. You save space, download instantly and you save money because it does not cost as much as those printed books, however, there are options for you to have them in print if you prefer it too.
Sustainability, check! eBooks are easier on the environment leaving very little or zero carbon footprint.
You can also have an entire folder or library in your reader of all the eBooks that you have. It takes up little data and does not occupy more than a megabyte of disk space when you save it. This makes my heart happy :)
Reading eBooks is kind of more flexible for me because I can customize the way it looks, what size of the font to read, how bright or dimmed my tablet is when reading, and a lot of other options available for you.
Similar to a printed book, you can actually also highlight quotes, and relatable content on your eBook depending on the reader that you have. You can also take notes, and these digital notes can be exported into a text editor which is a bonus, especially for students that are doing a book review, easy peasy!
What I like also is that I can easily see definitions or what the word means when I encounter difficult words or words I’m not familiar with, using the built-in or online dictionary or Google. So, I think it’s really helpful as compared to having a printed book, and when you encounter an unfamiliar word you need to be opening your Google on your smartphone just to view what the difficult word means so you’d understand (know what I mean?).
One downside would probably be, eBooks may be difficult to resell or donate. It does not seem personal because, you can’t physically hold the book, feel the pages and or smell it if it’s recently launched. You somehow do not engage the senses the way a printed book does.
Having said that, the love for printed books and eBooks has been here forever. Both formats have their own advantages and disadvantages and it usually comes down to each personal preference. I myself love reading both formats, but I have a bit of bias for eBooks.
One reason is that I finish reading an eBook faster. I don’t know why, but maybe because I don’t actually see how much longer the eBook is unless I jump to the end chapter. Once I finish the book I can easily go to different chapters and reread my favorite parts.
The second reason is that I never leave home without my smartphone or laptop. And so when I have the time even when I’m mobile, then I am able to catch up on reading my eBooks :).
Don’t get me wrong, I have printed books of course, but I have more eBooks as it is, mainly because I do not have the physical space for printed books.
For printed books, it takes me almost twice the time to finish. And if I can’t bring the book to where I’m going because it’s bulky then I finish it so much longer. So for a safe bet, if I want to finish a book faster, I’d have it in an eBook format.
I love both printed and eBooks for different purposes. For educational or management courses, my favorite day-to-day motivation books, and other author-signed books are all in print. I don’t think I would want it otherwise. So, yes I am for printed books still.
For fiction, romance novels, short-form books for professional development, trends, and industry insights I have it in an eBook format. See, it is possible to have use for them both!
I am a self-published author and I recently launched my very first eBook. Surprisingly my family and friends requested to have it in print instead. And I, therefore, conclude that my circle’s (middle-aged, corporate, colleagues) bias is printed books.
I was thinking we are in the digital revolution era, right? Still, it looks like printed books are here to stay. That’s when I realized, we all have different preferences in reading and it got me inspired to write about it too.
A book is a book no matter what format you’re reading it. It’s the story, the words, and the ideas within the book that really matters most. At the end of the day, we cannot really dictate because it’s a personal preference, to each his own.
Happy reading you guys!
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