E-Books vs Print Books

25 APR 2012





ebooks vs print booksFollowing on from our article last week eBook Market Share , here we look at E-books vs print books.

It has been well documented that E-books have grown in popularity significantly over the last few years. Research from Pew this year found, that 21% of adults had read a e-book in the last year, compared to 17% in December.  It is worth noting here that a rise in eReader owners occurred during the holiday season in December would have impacted this.

So why are people making this transition? What are the benefits and how will the ‘Digital Versus Print’ battle pan out?

1. Portability
The convenience factor has become a clear winner for readers. E-books are easily packed in a bag, take up little space and can be read when the reader wants to without much pre-planning of which book to take. It has been found that these E-Readers are also reading much more than those reading printed books. A Pew study found that the average reader of e-books read 24 books in the last year, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer.

2. Interactivity
Links, note-taking, social interactivity, video, audio and bookmarking are all popular features of electronic books that readers enjoy. These features have become very popular in publications such as educational books, marketing publications etc.. due to different learning styles of readers and choices.

3. Cost
Generally an E-book is cheaper for a reader to buy that a printed book. Printing, distribution and manufacturing costs can be significantly lower with electronic books, although some argue that the pricing model for E-books can still be unclear.

4. Environmental Factors
This advantage is often highlighted when talking about E-books, but let’s look at some stats:

- According to The Environmental Paper Network, If United States offices reduced virgin fiber copy paper use by 10% from 2009 levels, it would save 22.8 million trees, reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 481,000 cars off the road, and keep over 60,000 trucks full of solid waste out of landfills and incinerators. (Source: Paper Calculator, 2011)

- The average North American consumed 154 lbs (70 kgs) less paper in 2009 than in 2005, an amount equal to 15,000 sheets of copy paper, or a stack almost six and a half feet high. (via The Environmental Paper Network)

5. Feel and Packaging
The E-book is still a relatively new concept. When speaking with people making the change from reading print books to E-books you often hear the reader say something like ‘But i like the feel of a real book in my hands’. Print books to many feel natural, the feel, the smell, the general sharing of a print book. Habits are difficult to change yet we saw a similar scenario in the music industry when consumers were moving from CDs to downloadable albums.
By 3D Issue
 

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