Why e-books are killing off ‘real’ books

In this article, Jeremy Cai discusses why physical books cannot keep up with ebooks.

If one looks at the trends of reading in any country, you would find that there’s an increasing number of people getting into e-books. Take America, for instance. Now more than 4% of all readers now only read electronic books, which are the digital counterparts of print books. There is now no doubt that E-books are steadily becoming the literary version of sliced bread.

Here are ten of the best arguments why hard-covers and paperbacks would soon go the way of the Dodo:

Increasing number of people now own dedicated e-reading devices

Guess what, more than a quarter of American adults now own an e-reader. This makes the act of buying and reading e-books much more accessible. No longer are trips to a physical book store needed, but getting books on their e-readers from the always-available digital store are just a few clicks away. Choose Kobo, Amazon or any of the leading marketplaces and you are good to go.

If your chosen device is an e-reader, where e-books are most presented as a pure reading experience, e-books would most likely become the easiest form for you.

More read e-books on their tablets and computers too

With the number of smartphones and tablets being adopted to the point of overwhelming prevalence, people would soon get e-books on those devices as well. Talk about total convergence, the same devices that have become the staple of everyone’s daily lives are where you can do all your reading as well. Furthermore, dedicated e-book reader software are available for personal computers of all kinds, Windows and Mac included.

No more stock shortages can plague you

The store doesn’t have the book you want? The e-book reader is your saviour. With every major new book release coming out on the web stores, you can always count on downloading the books you want, when you want it. These are digital so you never actually see the pages, but neither would you care about the book being unavailable. Never miss out on a John Grisham, Stephen King or George RR Martin ever again.

You will be able to read them in the dark

Who said you need the bedside lamp for your late-night readings anymore? The built-in backlight of the Kindle Paperwhite e-readers allow you readability in pitch darkness. The Kindle Voyage, the latest top-end model is the current Kindle to want, with terrific backlighting on par with tablets. Particularly useful for over-night camping trips, these brand-new Amazon e-readers would achieve what physical books couldn’t: pitch dark reading. Even if you take away these dedicated e-readers, you can pretty much read on any smartphone or tablet you like in your dimly lit room.

What about being able to download your entire collection from the cloud?

You need not worry about hefty space-occupying book shelves. Now, all your books are right there for your downloading pleasure. Often organized in alphabetical order and searchable by name, there’s never anymore physical hunting for that obscure book in your room collection. And you actually free up space for other important things in your room like tables and other furniture.

Prices of E-books are cheaper than physical ones

With no costs going towards the paper backing of covers or the paper pages itself, E-books typically find themselves in the sub-ten dollar range as they are released. Newly released Hard-cover books are almost always double in price, and even Paperback books are more expensive than E-books themselves. Yes, you may be getting a desirable physical feel but you are paying more for that feel and physical presence as well. Guess which would be easier on your wallet though.

Bookmarks and notes sync everywhere

You have just read a very interesting portion of a book that involves a hardened private eye saving a damsel from the tentacles of an evil walking octopus. You would want to highlight it and even take notes on that visceral moment. With an e-book reader or e-book software on your phone and tablet, you can do it and still see those notes and markings across the board on all your devices. Easy searching of your notes in the software, using context and content, pushes it above the need to rifle through a physical book yourself. Of course, with bookmarks that mark your progress being automatically updated across all your devices, you never need to fret about losing track.

Greater information about your books like never before creates ease of use

You want to know who published the wonderful work you have just read, exactly how many pages there are left to read or jump right to a particular chapter, there is absolute no struggle. Instant  information about the book you are reading is all there, for easy and comprehensive viewing in the software. Try going to an exact chapter from the table of contents in a physical book; it still requires a few seconds as opposed to immediately getting to that chapter in an e-book.

Reading books in a Foreign Language is doable and has no hassle at all

This is definitely not possible with a physical book. No longer would you need a physical dictionary for a word you have trouble with, just clicking on a word in an e-book would suffice. The software’s integrated dictionary does all the heavy lifting as you begin exploring a whole new world and language. Give Digital a win over Physical.

Lastly, never feel ashamed about reading Fifty Shades of Grey anymore!

Because reading e-books on your smartphones, tablets and e-readers is so nondescript, you can read practically anything you want in public. Only you would know the innuendo.

The Final Word

Physical books are absolutely still an option, and will continue to be to fuel the livelihood of physical book stores, but once people gravitate towards e-books, the advantages of e-reading may soon surpass reading from real books. The transition may just be irrevocable in the future, and in reality, might not be far off. Make no mistake: the pros of e-reading simply outnumber that of traditional reading. 

Jeremy Cai is a Tech Writer at ShopBack. He regularly optimizes his precious Oneplus One. He also contributes regularly on http://www.Shopback.sg/blog and such acclaimed outlets as Berryflow and Tech.co. Follow him on Twitter @Speedygi81 for more hero articles!

Image taken from Maria Elena


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