In my last post, I listed the top four benefits of ereaders. Now here are the top four benefits of print:
1) Bookstores!!! Need I say more? The colour, the content, the possibilities. I had a bit of a depressed period after I received the ereader, entering a bookstore and knowing I’d walk away with nothing.
2) You can remember what you own. What ebooks are on my ereader? I’d have to give that some thought. But what are my favourite print books? All it takes is a glance at my bookshelves and the reading memories come flooding back.
3) You can lend it. I’m a young adult author; I read a lot of young adult books. My daughter reads young adult books. If the book is on my ereader, I can’t hand it to her to read next. It’s stuck, alone, in cyberworld.
4) You can give it away. If I’m not a huge fan of a particular book, at least I can console myself that the money I spent can benefit someone else. I regularly donate my lesser-liked books to the library, so others with different tastes can give the book some love.
So What’s My Conclusion?
Undoubtedly, ereaders are practical. I also find them cold and unemotional and solitary.
Print, on the other hand, appeals to the senses. A physical book inspires descriptions like “possibilities” and “memories” and “love.” Whether stored on a shelf or held in your hand, it lets others glimpse your preferences and peek at who you are. Plus it creates a sense of community, whether that involves lending to family or browsing a bookstore or donating to a library.
So print wins. I rarely pick up the ereader anymore, except to refer to a couple of how-to books I purchased in the past.
And apparently, many others agree. Of the people who prefer print:
- 65 per cent prefer it because they can feel it physically
- 61 per cent prefer it because they can learn better (and this has been backed up in recent research)
- 58 per cent prefer it because they can share it
- 53 per cent prefer it because they can see it, like a piece of art
- 45 per cent prefer it because they can resell it
- 44 per cent prefer it because they can collect it
- Another 44 per cent prefer it because they can give it as a gift
- 42 per cent prefer it because they enjoy buying it
- And there are even strange ones, like 11 per cent prefer it because a print book smells and an ebook doesn’t, and 9 per cent prefer it because their reading choices can impress others.
So these are all the reasons that print is not dead, and ereaders won’t be taking over our bookshelves anytime soon.
(Click here for more interesting stats about rising print sales.)