eBooks vs. Printed Books: Which is Better?

By: Steve Morgan  |  Posted In: Books & Catalogs  |  October 17, 2022

People often wonder which is better, eBooks vs. printed books? Well, the answer might be a little surprising. There are two sides to the debate. But it requires you to look at the arguments both ways.

Firstly, when you measure books against eBooks, you have to consider the factors that you are comparing. Book printing companies will always say printed books are the best. But let’s consider every possible factor before coming to a conclusion. Let’s proceed.

a.  Ease of Use

You can use eBooks anywhere you want as long as you are keeping the device charged.  There are many eBook readers that you let you read in the dark. Also, it is convenient to download an eBook since you have it in a few seconds if you have a fast internet connection. An eBook will save your progress, and you can automatically find out where you stopped reading, once you open the eBook again.

But books don’t require any power to operate. You can read them anywhere you want if you have a little light. There is no need for power to recharge the book. After the custom book printing is done and it hits the market, you can read it anytime you want. It has been reported that it causes less eye strain than reading a digital book. Also, you can easily keep track of the passages or pages in a standard book as the pages don’t change.

b.  Retention of Information

In certain situations, eBooks perform better than physical books. A few of these depend on the personal choice of the individual readers. Additionally, a few readers with physical limitations, such as dyslexia or poor eyesight might fight it easier to read through electronic text as they allow you to magnify the font. Moreover, they come with some interactive features.

But studies have shown that reading physical books, such as a spiral bound book is better than eBooks. Even though people can read much faster on an eBook, on a physical book people retain and remember things. This is mainly because the former has distractions, such as advertisements, links, and a lot more. Some people tend to like touching and holding the pages of the books when they read.

Impact on the Environment

You might believe that eBooks win in this aspect. But, evaluating the environmental impacts of eBooks and books can be more complicated. For starters, it is based on how many books you are reading on eReader.

However, you should also know that eReaders can be responsible for a lot of carbon in comparison to books. Many studies have shown that you should read between 22-100 books on eReader if you are environmentally more conscious than reading regular hard copy books. eReaders have to be recharged regularly and might have some toxic metals that have to be disposed of.

If you get a perfect bound book or spiral bound book, you can secure an old one. Borrowing books from the library is also more environmentally friendly. Moreover, when you are done with the book, you can simply sell it off or gift them to the next reader. When a book reaches the end of its life, you can simply recycle it.

Several printing companies these days are following green printing practices. This means they avoid using harmful chemicals when they are printing the books. These companies make sure they don’t create excessive waste from the printing process.