Reading is a highly recommended pleasure with multiple benefits for our minds. And when faced with the question of whether it is better to read in paper or electronic format, a good answer will be that the format does not matter as long as it is read since the final result is the same. But usually the question is not solved so easily because the question usually opens a wide debate with opposing positions. And is that both media – paper or electronic – have defenders and detractors, creating sides that are very clear about their preferred option.
According to the latest study by ‘Habits of reading and buying books in Spain‘made by the Federation of Publishers Guilds 68.5% of the Spanish population reads books. Of these, 62.2% do so for leisure and in their free time, and 27.5% read for work or study reasons.
In recent years the percentage of readers who opted for the electronic book has increased. A) Yes, 29.1% of the population aged 14 or over reads books in digital format at least once a quarter (a considerable growth if we compare it with the data of 2010, when the percentage of readers in digital format was 5.3%).
This increase is likely facilitated by the younger generations who are digital natives, but also by readers who decide to switch to the e-book. In these cases, what advantages do these users find? or what prevents others from changing and abandoning the role? Let’s see the qualities that the fans of each support bring to know the reasons for each ‘team’:
The advantages of paper
Let’s start with the book on paper, that is, the one of all life because this is precisely one of the qualities that its defenders highlight since they grant emotional bond when reading a paper book. It is an experience that they do not want to give up because it unites them with their childhood memories as new readers with special experiences linked to certain books.
On the other hand, another emotional aspect that is also used as an argument in favor of paper books is that its physical format provides rewarding experiences since we can see how they age with the years, enjoy their aesthetic value and design or browse those favorite editions to remember the parts that we liked the most. In this sense, the library that we have at home can become for lovers of reading one of the most loved and valued spaces in the home.
Another advantage of paper books is that can be shared with other people and of course easily and hassle-free gifting. In addition, it is a ‘reliable’ format that never runs out of battery and does not break down or stop working.
On the other hand, Studies support reading on paper because it allows us to remember better and more things than reading in electronic form. In this sense, some research carried out on the subject, they have shown that texts read on paper are better in the memory than those read from a digital screen.
Another aspect to note is that nor all books are digitized so they cannot be purchased in this format and you have to choose yes or yes for the paper format. And finally, on environmental issues, proponents of paper books argue that they do not generate technological waste that is difficult to eliminate since the plastics and chemicals in electronic devices do not biodegrade easily.
Advantages of the electronic book
Among the qualities most mentioned by ebook fans is the one that it is easier to take anywhere due to its size and weight so it hardly takes up space in bags or backpacks. In addition, this makes it easy to use it anywhere. That is, for those people who take advantage of public transport trips to read, the electronic book is more comfortable because with one hand you can handle it and your weight is not a problem. An advantage that makes a lot of sense when we opt for a long book with its corresponding weight on paper.
On the other hand, having our entire library in a single device allows freeing space in our house since it is normal to have a limited physical space for books, which is a problem if we accumulate new copies. Not forgetting that having a single device makes it easy to read more than one book at a time, if we want them.
Another advantage of the electronic book is the f3 ability to purchase or download new books at any time since we only need an internet connection … and above, the price is cheaper than paper formats.
In addition, another quality of the electronic book highly valued for those who have tired eyesight is already part of their day to day, is poder adapt the font size, an issue that may be key for some people to return to the pleasure of reading.
And, let’s continue with more advantages of ebooks. In this case, the accessories that have many of them, such as the own lighting that allows reading in any situation and time of day or dictionaries and translators included that make it easy not to miss a thing while reading.
And for e-book advocates, too it is a great advantage to be able to read on any device: either the tablet, the mobile or the computer. If everyone is connected with the same account, they can jump from device to device without losing the reading thread.
Finally, we will highlight that it is considered a more sustainable format since its production does not imply the felling of millions of trees.