Battle of the Books: Print vs. E-books

We all have that little book snob inside us which will switch on the fight mode when someone says e-Books are better than printed books. Don’t worry even the world agrees with you. Apparently, the sales of printed books increased by 2-3% last year; which in the book industry qualifies as a block buster year.  Great news right? Looks like print books are making a comeback.

Books: Print vs. E-books, which tracks what readers are buying, found that 900 million paper books were sold in the U.S. last year, including at Amazon and all types of bookstores compared to 825 million in 2021. The sales for printed books had apparently hit rock bottom in the year 2012 but has gradually been rising ever since, especially when we talk about the sales of adult colouring books and books written by YouTube Stars and Entertainers. I mean who doesn’t want to support their favourite YouTuber’s and buy their books (I want to read Tyler Oakley’s Binge please!). Doesn’t it feel like cheating when you think about reading the same book online knowing how the revenue won’t go to them? Shouldn’t it be the same when it comes to actual authors too though? Even when you buy the e-Book instead of illegally downloading it, the authors are given a lower percentage of royalties for them by the publishers. Seems pretty unfair right?

According to a study reported in the Guardian, the readers are able to better recall the events of a mystery novel when read in print rather than in your kindle. And who doesn’t want to remember every nook and corner of the book so that when you sit down with your book club you are able to passionately discuss various theories and critically analyse the characters. To be honest I feel closer and get more attached to the characters when I have a physical copy of the book, made out of sheets of paper, covered with inky words on them, in my hand.  I mean I remember myself hysterically crying when I read about (spoiler) Dobby dying in my physical copy of Harry Potter than when I read straight faced the death of (spoiler) Augustus Water from The Fault in Our Star online. Then again that could be because I am Potterhead. But the feeling of brushing your hand through the book, when you are reading a particularly painful part in the book as you try to comfort the character through its pages, is way beyond than any e-Book can ever offer you. Bonus: you get to write on the margins and highlight your favourite quote.

Plus print books are better for your health.  A Harvard Medical School study found that reading a light emitting e-book interferes with your ability to sleep, alertness for the following morning and your overall health.

Students too are much more satisfied with their prints textbooks as opposed to their e-Textbooks. According to a survey conducted by HP 57% preferred prints, while only 21% preferred e-Textbooks. (I am guessing that the remaining 22% didn’t prefer to study at all)

Well as long as the sales of print books keep on increasing who am I to complain? So yes printed books are finally rising from its ashes like a phoenix ready to gain victory against e-Books.


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