While many commentators have predicted that ebooks will replace physical books in this digital age, that hasn’t so far been the case. And it probably won’t ever be the case.
According to one source, print books outsell ebooks by a margin of four to one, and only 30% of people say they’re ebook readers. Meanwhile, 37% of Americans say they only read print books, while 7% say they only read ebooks.
That’s not to say there aren’t some reasons to try ebooks. You can have many books on a single device, enjoy interactive elements, and even save money going the ebook route. But consider these five reasons ebooks won’t replace print books.
- Physical Books Are More Valuable
People tend to place a higher value on print books than on ebooks. Even if an ebook is an exact digital replica of a print book, consumers usually believe the ebook should be sold at a discount to what the print book is priced at. There’s something about having a book you can hold in your hands over a digital file that shows up on a screen.
The next time you have the option of choosing a book or catalog and its digital equivalent, ask yourself which one looks more appealing. Most people will go with the former since there’s something to be said for being able to handle printed materials. More goes into printing catalogs and books than goes into creating digital files. And that’s why people are usually willing to pay more for a print book than an ebook.
- Physical Books Lead to Better Reading Comprehension
Studies demonstrate that people comprehend what they read more fully from a print book than from an ebook. They might read faster on a computer, laptop, or tablet than from a print book. But reading faster means that the information gleaned might not be absorbed as well as if gleaned from a printed page.
It’s essential to consider this when it comes to educational settings. While ebooks may be more convenient, some distractions can come in the form of links and ads.
Since people usually retain more information when reading from a physical book over an ebook, it goes without saying that there’ll always be a need for print books.
- Physical Books Are More Durable
Physical books have stood the test of time. They’re durable and, in some cases, collectible. But ebooks have a shelf life. Even if you currently have the most recent e-reader, laptop, tablet, or any other device, the device will eventually become obsolete. And there’s no guarantee that the file formats popular today will be around over the long haul. When using ebooks, you also have to be concerned about the power level of whatever device you’re using. That means you might encounter issues that prevent you from tucking into a good ebook. You won’t run into the same issue with physical books.
- Physical Books Are Easier on the Eyes
Did you know that people around the world spend an average of six hours and 58 minutes staring at screens every day? Consider as well that daily screen time has skyrocketed by 50 minutes daily since 2013. Meanwhile, the average American spends seven hours and four minutes of daily screen time. Staring at a screen for too long over the day can lead to what’s known as computer vision syndrome. It can leave you with eye irritation, headaches, and blurred vision. If you’re going to read a good book, why not give your eyes a break by reading a physical book rather than an ebook?
- Get Better Quality Sleep
Do you like to read before going to bed at night? You can’t beat physical books. Various studies have shown a link between staring at a computer, laptop, e-reader, and tablet screen before bedtime and a lower quality of sleep.
It can make it harder to get to sleep and lead to low-quality sleep. So, do yourself a favor and read print books rather than ebooks before you head off to sleep.
These are just some reasons print books won’t ever go out of style. While ebooks bring many benefits, they’re unlikely to replace print books. But the good news is that you don’t have to choose one over the other since you can have both. Depending on the situation, you can select one or the other.