It’s impossible to ignore the popularity of digital entertainment. However, books are one medium where digital options can’t quite compare with a more traditional approach.
After all, humans appreciate tactile experiences, such as popping bubble wrap or writing with an exceptionally smooth pen. There’s something about the feel of paper when you turn the page that doesn’t stack up against swiping on a screen — not to mention the appealing smell of a freshly printed book or yellowed, aging parchment.
That’s why physical books still thrive in the entertainment market, even in the face of impressive technology that makes our lives easier each day. So if you’re an author looking to market your own books and offer the most gratifying reading experience available, e-books are an important market to consider, but you can’t afford to ignore the appeal of physical books.
8 Benefits of Paper Books
People prefer physical books for a variety of reasons, but these are some of the most common reasons that should prompt you to think twice before exclusively publishing digitally:
Enhanced Reading Comprehension
Something about holding a book in your hand engages your mind in a way that digital devices haven’t been able to replicate. For example, a 2018 study by Science News Explore and a 2014 study conducted in Italy found that reading comprehension was stronger with paper books when compared to digital text.
Allow for Better Sleep
Staring at your phone before bed has several detrimental effects. First, the harsh, blue light tells your brain that you should be awake and alert. Secondly, phones are communication devices, and the feeling that a call, text, or email can come at any second primes you to be ready for an emergency. On the other hand, one of the main advantages of paper books is that they relax the mind before sleep.
Easier on the Eyes
Screens cause eye fatigue with high use. One of the reasons for this (according to the Mayo Clinic) is that when you stare at screens, you don’t blink as much as you would otherwise. This dries out your eyes and is hard on your vision. Additionally, the American Optometric Association says that screen use can cause computer vision syndrome, manifesting in eyestrain and blurred vision.
No Need for Batteries
When you’re on a plane or a train, you might not have access to a charger. Thankfully, physical books require zero power to operate! Also, if your device has to go into airplane mode or loses internet connection, you could lose the ability to read your ebook, depending on the platform you use to read.
Opportunity to Build Your Library
A home library is an attractive sight. Walls of books not only make for excellent decorations, but they also encourage reading. In a family home, this allows parents to interact with their children about what they’ve learned. However, when all of a person’s books are on a digital device, they can be “out of sight, out of mind.”
Can Be Shared with Others
While sharing ebooks is possible (depending on the platform), handing a physical book to a friend is far easier. Printed books have the added benefit of sidestepping compatibility issues. Some ebook platforms have proprietary formats, which makes sharing books even more difficult. Of course, you can still offer a digital copy of your book from your website or storefront in a universal format if you desire.
Physical books give an excellent sense of progression, and the feeling of finishing a book and turning the final page is immensely satisfying. Ebooks may show progress in terms of a “percentage completed,” but it doesn’t have the same impact as satisfactorily sliding the book back into its place on the bookshelf.
While ebooks can have an advantage over printed books in terms of environmental impact, paper books are still recyclable! Also, once a book has been printed, its carbon footprint is set. On the other hand, ebooks require electricity to read, which means that devices will require additional charging time.
Advantages of Printed Books over E-books
Especially for self-published authors, printing physical books can be seen as a form of legitimacy. Creating a product that a customer can hold in their hands gives real weight to it and can make it seem more special. While ebooks offer the ability to keep an entire collection of books on a single device and generally cost less, many readers believe that paper books’ advantages — such as information retention — more than overshadow the benefits of ebooks.
Bring Your Book into the Physical World with Print Bind Ship
If you want your readers to enjoy the advantages of physical books, partner with Print Bind Ship! Whether you want to produce pallets full of books or print on demand, you can count on Print Bind Ship to deliver quality printing every time. We can link up with your online store to make sales even simpler, get shipments out the door within 24 hours, and even handle your returns. Build your readers’ libraries with quality printed books by partnering with Print Bind Ship!
Paper books offer increased information retention, leading to better test scores for students and a more pleasing experience for recreational readers. Also, if a reader wants to share a book with a friend, that process is as simple as handing them a copy.
Screens can cause eyestrain and disrupt sleep cycles, while paper books are much more relaxing for the eyes and mind. They’re also better for the planet’s health since they don’t require power and are usually recyclable.
Paper books don’t require batteries, are better for your health, are recyclable, and are more easily shared. However, ebooks don’t take up physical space and are generally cheaper.