eBooks vs Printed Books – Which is better?

In the early 2000s, eBooks were seen as a major threat to traditional printed books. Many predicted that they would soon replace physical books altogether. However, recent trends have shown a decline in eBook sales, while printed book sales have been steadily increasing.

In 2009, eBooks outsold printed books on Amazon and reached a peak in 2014. But since then, the trend has shifted. In 2018, figures showed that book sales had almost doubled in the previous decade, and the book printing industry was thriving.

So, what has led to this shift? There are several reasons why people may be opting for physical books over eBooks. Some may prefer the feel and smell of a real book, while others may prefer the convenience of being able to highlight or make notes in a physical book. Additionally, some may have concerns about the long-term availability and preservation of eBooks.

Overall, while eBooks were once thought to be the future of reading, it seems that printed books are here to stay. The book printing industry is thriving, and it seems that many people still prefer the traditional experience of reading a physical book.

eBooks vs Printed Books – What’s better?

Physical books such as a hardcover or paperback offer a unique and enjoyable reading experience that can’t be replicated by eBooks. The texture of the paper, the cover design, and the overall feel of a physical book all contribute to the reading experience. For many people, the physical aspect of a book is an important part of the reading process. Without it, the experience is incomplete.

Sharing physical books is also a simple and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re lending a book to a friend or donating it to a library, the process is straightforward. With eBooks, the process can be a bit more complicated, making it less convenient to share the books you love with others.

In addition, the ability to annotate, highlight, and make notes in a physical book is an important aspect of the reading experience for many people. Being able to physically mark up a book and make it your own is a unique aspect of reading physical books that is not possible with eBooks.

In conclusion, while eBooks have their own advantages, the unique experience of reading a physical book cannot be denied. From the feel of the paper to the ability to share and annotate, physical books offer a reading experience that is truly special.


Printed books have been shown to be beneficial for overall health and well-being. Studies have demonstrated that reading can increase lifespan, reduce illness, improve memory, and decrease stress levels. Additionally, research has suggested that reading physical books may also help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Reading physical books before bedtime is also a healthier option compared to reading eBooks. The bright, well-lit screens of eBooks can disrupt sleep patterns and negatively impact the quality of sleep. In contrast, physical books do not emit any light and do not disrupt the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep, making them a better option for bedtime reading.

In conclusion, reading physical books not only provides a delightful and immersive reading experience but also numerous benefits for your health and well-being. From improving memory and reducing stress to promoting better sleep, physical books are a great addition to any bedtime routine.

Keep going there’s more…

Physical books have a unique ability to evoke memories and emotions from the past. When you come across an old book that you had long forgotten, it can trigger a flood of memories and emotions. For example, finding an old copy of “Of Mice and Men” that you had to study for hours in a literature class can bring back memories of studying hard and feeling proud of your accomplishments.

A book with suncream stains from a holiday in France five years ago can remind you of the warm sun, the smell of the ocean and the laughter of your loved ones. A book that your Grandmother gave you as a child can bring back feelings of warmth, love, and safety.

In contrast, eBooks do not have the same ability to evoke memories and emotions. They do not have the physical attributes that physical books have, such as the smell, texture, and appearance. They do not have the same sentimental value as physical books, that can be passed down for generations to come.

Physical books have a unique ability to evoke memories and emotions from the past. They can bring back feelings of nostalgia and remind us of our personal history, which is something that eBooks cannot replicate. Physical books are not just a means of reading, but also a means of preserving memories.

Physical books offer a distinct advantage when it comes to finding your place in a book. With a physical book, you can easily flip through the pages and find your spot again in a matter of minutes. This is not the case with eBooks, where finding your place can be a frustrating and time-consuming process.

Additionally, physical books allow you to gauge your progress in a more tangible way. Seeing the number of pages you have left and feeling the weight of the book in your hand can give a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as you near the end of the book. In contrast, eBooks simply give a percentage of how much you have read and how much is left, which can feel less satisfying.

Overall, physical books offer an ease and satisfaction in finding your place and judging your progress that eBooks cannot match. The feeling of flipping through pages, physically seeing and feeling the progress, and the satisfaction of finishing a big chunky book is something that eBooks can’t replicate.

Supporting physical bookstores is an important aspect of being a book lover. Bookstores are beloved for their knowledgeable staff, the smell of books, and the wide selection of titles available. Without the support of customers buying physical books, these special places would not be able to exist.

Physical books also add a unique touch to home decor. A bookshelf filled with physical books can give insight into a person’s personality and interests. Additionally, physical books make for an aesthetically pleasing display, adding character and charm to any room. In contrast, eBooks do not have the same visual appeal and do not contribute to the aesthetic of a bookshelf.

Buying physical books not only supports local bookstores and contributes to the survival of these special places but also adds beauty and character to one’s home. Physical books are not just a means of reading but also a means of expressing oneself and beautifying one’s surroundings.

eBooks vs Printed Books – What’s your decision?

When it comes to choosing between eBooks and printed books, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. While eBooks have their own advantages such as portability and convenience, there are also many benefits to reading physical books.

For instance, physical books do not require batteries or electronic devices to read, and studies have shown that our brains retain information better when reading from physical books. Additionally, physical books offer a unique reading experience that is difficult to replicate with eBooks.

At the end of the day, whether you choose an eBook or a physical book, both have their own unique benefits. However, for those who prefer the traditional reading experience, the feel and smell of paper, the ability to physically mark up a book and the aesthetic appeal of physical books on a bookshelf, printed books will always be the preferred choice.

Author – Jamie Thomas

Date posted Aug 19th 2020

About Jamie Rand

I'm the Business Development Manager at Imprint Digital, a leading book printing company. This blog is where I share insights and strategies from my journey, offering advice for everyone in the publishing and printing industry.