Physical Copies vs. E-readers: Which Is Better for Reading?

man reading

There are limitless hobbies for an individual to take up. At the height of the global pandemic, many people found themselves falling into various activities. Rekindling passions for an old craft they once enjoyed or exploring something entirely new.

All of these were used to cope with the unfortunate circumstances that riddled the previous year. One such hobby that was revived amidst all the chaos: reading. The statistics of book readers began dwindling in the years before the pandemic. Approximately a quarter of the population hadn’t read a book in 2018-2019.

Worlds From Pages

Now, a lot more people are beginning to get into books again for several reasons. It could be because there are extensive amounts of free time now, thanks to the shelter-in-place measures. Simply picking up an exciting book can help take your mind off all the stress and anxiety.

Whatever the case may be, reading can be one of the best ways to keep your sanity within the context of all the uncertainties that we’re facing. Regardless of how a book is published, there is one fervent debate: print books versus digital books.

A New Divide

The printing press was one of the most revolutionary inventions to have impacted mankind. The technology has been developed and updated, but its purpose remains the same. Up until now, there are still plenty of commercial printing companies that help to publish books and other print materials.

On the other hand, the very first e-reader was invented in 2007. Now, several e-readers are widely available. Its popularity and efficiency have since increased significantly throughout the years as well. This gadget, not to be confused with smart tablets, effectively transformed how readers interacted with their books.

The divide between these two forms of reading has been ongoing ever since the advent of e-readers hit the market. Each side has its own pros and cons, of course. If you’re still unaware of which side of the spectrum you fall on, there are some key differences to help you figure it out.

Storage Space

For many book enthusiasts, having a library can be one of the most fulfilling areas in their homes. Often, it can be visually amusing to see how much you’ve accumulated throughout the years. Having some form of physical reminder of the materials that, in some way, helped shape who you are.

The amount of space that print books can take up inside a home is also one of the key reasons readers shift to e-books. It allows you to keep thousands of titles stored within a single device. You can also carry it wherever you go, which is one of the more practical advantages it has over physical copies.

woman reading a book

Book Feel

Much like print books, e-readers can come in various sizes. Some may have bigger screens while others are more compact. In line with this, adjustability is another big asset for this gadget. You can tweak the font style, size, and brightness to customize your reading experience.

However, more readers actually prefer feeling the pages between their fingers. This tactile sensation is one of the main reasons that made people fall in love with reading in the first place. People have also noted to experience much more eye strain when using e-readers as opposed to physical books.

Price and Availability

In terms of pricing, there isn’t much of a disparity between the two. While e-books are less expensive than print books, the difference only amounts to a couple of dollars. This is because of added technology costs to digitally format books, similar to when they are printed.

The availability of titles is where e-readers gain an advantage. You need to go online and browse different library platforms to download any book you’re looking for. This eliminates the need for visiting countless bookstores to find a single copy to your liking.

To Each Their Own

The sudden outbreak of a global pandemic prompted a drastic shift towards the digital realm. Significant daily operations like work-from-home arrangements and online schooling became common. So it’s no surprise that reading e-books would experience a similar phenomenon.

At the height of the pandemic, many bookstores were forced to close due to the implemented lockdowns. This dealt a blow not just for brick-and-mortar retail stores but also to commercial printing companies. As shops slowly reopen, however, printed copies remain the preferred format of many readers.

In the end, it all falls into a matter of preference. Whether you’re into e-readers, physical books, or both shouldn’t really matter. Nothing will ever beat the amount of enjoyment and satisfaction you get just from flipping or scrolling through a couple of pages filled with words.

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