E-Books vs. Print Books: Which is better eBooks or traditional books?

Author: Nicolas | Last update:

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e-books vs. printed books

After years spent in the shadow of the paper book, the last years has allowed everyone to understand the benefits of e-readers and ebooks. Perhaps it's time to reconsider. Do you prefer digital books (ebooks) or paper books? And which is better?

E-readers and ebooks as a viable alternative to paper books

There's no denying that the ebook can help book lovers when a bookshop is no longer accessible.

This may be because a bookshop has closed, or because an epidemic has forced booksellers to lower their curtains.

But more often, it's simply because people live far from cities and bookshops. So they order their books over the Internet, or use digital books (ebooks) to continue reading.

Here are the main advantages in favor of the ebook:

  • Ebooks are easy to access: all you need is an Internet connection
  • Digital books don't take up space
  • Ebooks are less expensive and you can download free ebooks
  • Can be read on many digital devices: computer, smartphone, tablet and e-reader

So I think the case for ebooks and e-readers is clear.

But if you're still in any doubt, there's a page on the site that should convince you: good reasons to switch to the e-reader.

Paper books: a timeless object

Today, I believe that the ebook is no longer the scarecrow it may have been just a few years ago. We need to put an end to the stupid fantasy that digital books (ebooks) will replace paper books.

We're forgetting the major innovations that have turned the economics of paper books on their head. Here are just a few of them:

  • Large-scale printing
  • Paperbacks, which lowered the price of books (but didn't make more expensive books disappear)
  • Supermarket distribution of books in a lot of countries
  • Library: no need to buy books, just borrow them

Paper books are also a "passion" object. People buy them for the pleasure of the object, for the pleasure of building up a fine library, and for the pleasure of lending or giving.

Unlike other cultural media such as DVDs and CDs, sales of paper books have not fallen dramatically with the arrival of smartphones and e-readers (since around 2007), as shown by this graph showing the evolution of the number of copies of books sold (in millions) :

print books sales figures in usa

Source : https://www.statista.com/statistics/422595/print-book-sales-usa/

So it's not the e-reader and ebooks that will kill the paper book.

In any case, it's more likely that the death of the paper book will come from a law, a political decision or a natural cause (such as an epidemic, an ecological problem, a paper supply problem, etc.).

Ebook or traditional printed book: there's no winner

Objectively speaking, there are advantages to reading on paper, just as there are to reading ebooks on e-readers or other reading devices.

In both cases, there are also disadvantages.

So it's time to put the differences aside and not stigmatize some (who love the traditional paper object) and others (who love soulless devices and put bookshops out of business with their ebooks).

On the contrary, showing that there are different ways of reading also means showing that we can continue to read whatever happens.

Because seeing someone reading an old paperback of Albert Camus should make us as happy as someone reading a Stephen King on an e-reader.

At a time when Netflix, social networks and smartphone apps are taking up more and more of our time, every person who reads is a victory to be savored.

Whether you choose the ebook or the paper book, you're right either way. The most important thing is to read.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


nicolas lorenzon

Recognizing the need for an informed and reliable source for eReader-related content, Nicolas created MyEreader.net, where he currently serves as the lead writer. His well-crafted articles cover a wide range of topics, including eReader reviews, comparisons between various devices, tips for optimizing reading experiences, and discussions on the future of digital reading. Read more here

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