The use of ereaders, iPads and Kindles have become the most common way for reading books more so now than ever. After all, why bring heavy books everywhere when you can have an entire electronic library in the palm of your hand? In addition, not only do digital books eliminate the cost of printing and storage for publishing house, but they also offer cheaper buying options for readers. One wonders: is creative writing for the print version slowly bleeding out?
Ereaders vs. Printed Books
Still, a bibliophile will maintain today that print books inherently possess a tactile beauty that digital formats fail to offer. They contend that even with the ease of access that ebooks afford, there is something about tangible books and physically turning a page that has stood the test of technology. ChatEbooks presents their argument –
Readers Connect to Printed Books on an Emotional Level
The inherent troubles with the ereader are more subtle than one imagines. Creative writing, non-fiction and even textbooks build a world that requires full engagement. In 2012, the Guardian carried out an experiment just to test whether ereaders provided the same immersive experience. Unsurprisingly, the study concluded that people connected less with a book read on an ereader on an emotional level. Sure, ebooks can have vivid, colorful digital covers, but nothing can replace the impact of a physical book. For true bookworms, print is the only medium that will satisfy. Those using the print format were able to recall details better and place events in chronological order.
Readers Can Multitask More with Ereaders
As with all things technological, the temptation to be distracted and multitask is significantly higher with ereaders. Imagine yourself reading a challenging book, a good soldier in the army of creative writing. You come across an interesting analogy or anecdote. Instead of penciling in on the margin, you attempt to highlight and leave a note on the screen. Your heart weeps at the ugliness of the note. It reminisces about your love for your own uglier handwriting. You’re tempted to switch to the browser to find out more about the anecdote. Nothing wrong with curiosity. Except as soon as you do, your connection with the book is lost. This was proven by yet another study, which found multitasking was three times higher with ebook readers than print readers.
Readers Prefer Ereaders for Its Storage Space
It is undeniable that the industry is undergoing massive change. Is that change a revolutionary transformation or mere restructuring is the main question. A lot of print publishers have found ways to stream their content into the digital space. It makes storage easier for them and allows them to access online advertising revenue. Yet at the same time, print offerings sustain themselves. Only small declines have been reported over the past 10 years in print sales and subscriptions, according to Pew Research. This includes the shifts in the newspaper sector as well as creative writing, textbooks and other formats of literature.
And there is hope for the future as well. According to other studies, 60% of Generation Y (people born in 1990s and 2000s) still prefer the physical print experience of a book, to technical or audio alternatives. This in fact applies to 58% of the people under the age of 50, across genders and other segmentations. E-readers may cannibalize print markets, but never are they going to leave prints books dying. Worlds of literature will continue to exist in the physical format, because we connect with the physical elements of a book, because our retention is better, because books are customizable and because books continue to hold a place in our preferences, our bookshelves, and our hearts. Luckily, in today’s digital age, print books do not have to disappear for ebooks to flourish, and ebooks don’t have to be the only choice.