The tremendous popularity in ereaders, tablets and e-book apps for our smart phones, has put a big dent on printed book sales. The biggest argument between avid and casual readers is e-books vs printed books vs audio books. There’s more than just a few articles claiming the “death of printed books” and although there are valid points made, all of us at WeShareMedia refused to be sold on the whole idea. Each medium has a respective list of pros and cons; while we can all agree if we indulge in any combination of those on a regular basis, it’b be greatly beneficial for everyone involved
Let’s looks at some stats, advantages and disadvantages of each literature source.
The Printed Book
Reading a book is an experience all its own. There’s an obvious (and priceless) nostalgia that comes with holding a book; the weight of it in your hands, the smell, the “well loved” pages with stains and dog-ears. You just can’t get those things with eBooks.
They’re collectible. A hardcover is like having a print by one of your favorite artists on the wall. Printing technology is evolving also. The business model is changing, the traditional relationship between an author, a publisher, a distributor, and a retailer has been transformed. Self-publishing is quickly becoming a trend both online and offline. Sites like Amazon, Blurb, Lulu or Cafepress let users publish their works in a great DIY methodology with no minimum printing quantity required.
The utter convinience of carrying your entire literary collection with you at all times is the obvious factor that’s winning over so many people. But well list a few others, just to play the Devil’s advocate a bit, since we’re admittedly partial to the print form.
- The lack of paper and ink means it’s at least partially better for the environment.
- E-books enable authors to retain all rights for publishing and distribution, movie syndication, audio, etc.
- E-book text is searchable.
- E-books are weightless. Carry as many as you can fit onto a thumb drive. (its the tablet that carries weight, not the book.)
- E-books are universal. You can buy an ebook online from anywhere in the world and be reading it in minutes.
There’s been a surge in literary titles that are now being offered as audiobooks. Once aimed at people with disabilities, millions of others have been able to take advantage of these audio files to listen to while going on about their daily routines, while feeding their minds at the same time.
- Making constructive use of dead time. Time that would be otherwise impossible to fill with a normal book.
- If you’re a slow reader you should listen to audio books so you get books read faster and more of them.
- When you listen to audio books it helps with vocabulary. More words listened to in context, more words learned.
- There are so many devices for listening to audio books already available.
- You hear every little detail in audio book. Sometimes people might skip over a paragraph or a page and that could be a very important part.
So we’ve covered a few of the bases and hopefully pointed out some new advantages to any of the literary mediums for you. Your brain craves knowledge and with all of our modern conveniences, there’s no excuse for not having a regular influx of sought after information coming at us everyday.
Our continually overly caffeinated team at WeShareMedia found a few interesting factoids across the inter-webs, that seemed noteworthy with the subject at hand.
According to recent studies (Just the Facts, Man):
- Nearly 90% of e-book readers also read physical book.
- 59% of Americans have no interest in buying an e-book, according to 2012 survey by Bowker Market Research.
- E-books topped print sales for the first time in 2011, a trend that continued into 2012.
- Readers who like literary fiction and narrative non-fiction books, prefer the tactile experience of a physical book.
Having taken all this great information in and not to mention heavy discussions on the matter. WeShareMedia being the gadget loving, technology seeking geeks most of the time. Will continue to be partial to a good old fashioned physical copy. Turning the pages and seeing how far you can get in one sitting. That feeling of satisfaction, mixed with closure at the end of a good read, will never be duplicated. It comes close when a good post on Facebook, Google+ or micro blog on Twitter strikes a nerve in any direction. The old adage of a picture being worth a thousand words comes to mind, when WeShare tidbits of ourselves acrossPinterest, Instagram or Tumblr, through images. But imagining a picture being painted with words and letting your imagination run wild with the mental imagery can also never be replaced.