Although there are some avid readers who refuse to go digital, many more have embraced the -reader. In fact, around 27 percent of adults have read an e-book in the past year. This number increases to 43 percent when you include other content like magazines, journals and news articles. Like other technological advances, the e-reader brings with it many changes, not only to the world of publishing but to our reading habits as well. It has changed how and where we read. It has even changed the way our homes look. For better or worse, the e-reader is here to stay.
At the same time, relying solely on a digital device when traveling has its downside. You have to worry about carrying a charger with you at all times to keep the battery charged. In other parts of the world, you’ll also have to buy an adapter to match the proper voltage. Unlike a physical book, you’ll need to turn off the device when your plane takes off or lands.
Of course, you don’t need an e-reader to take advantage of free books. So long as you have a local library, you can easily check out physical and digital books.
While e-readers do offer one form of accessibility, they also take away another: book sharing. It’s difficult to share digital books with friends. One of the greatest joys for many readers is being able to pass on a great book to friends and family. The problem is that you don’t actually own a digital book. Instead you have the license for them. Should the publisher or service provider decide to revoke this license, you can potentially lose access to all of your books.
A Customizable Reading Experience
Many e-readers also offer a built-in dictionary and a highlighting option to make it easier to go back to certain passages.
According to studies, the average e-book reader actually completes more books than those who only read print. Not only that, they also spend more time reading. This change in reading habits is likely due to overall ease of access. With a digital format, you can literally read anywhere, whether waiting in line or during a lunch break.
The downside of this is that people are generally reading in shorter bursts. This makes it harder to recall and absorb the actual events in the story. So even if people are reading more, it doesn’t equate to better understanding.
The rise of digital books doesn’t signal the death of paper. In fact, paperback sales have increased 2.8 percent. Many people prefer physical books to digital ones for specific genres such as nonfiction, children’s books and textbooks. So while a private library might have shrunk for many homes, there will still be a bookcase, comfortable chair and a warm cup of tea or coffee to enjoy while reading.
Which format do you prefer: e-book or physical copy? What are some of the advantages you feel one has over the other?