Could you imagine how different our world would be without the use of printed books? Long before, paper books have become the sole means of historical documentation and the recording of stories, as to be passed down through the generations. Yet with the new technology known as the e-books, the needs of paper books have drastically decreased. When it comes to storage, convenience, and quality, e-books will be giving paper books a run for their money. The advancing e-tide seemed inevitable. Books are undoubtedly not obsolete in this digital age as they are more meaningful and attrahent than e-books.
In this digital society, e-books are gradually displacing print formats as the preferred method for people to read books. E-books broke ground sales for the first time in 2011 and this trend has continued since then. However, data from the Association of American Publishers indicates that the obituary of print books was published way too early. In 2016, sales of print books in the U.S. increased by 3.3 %, while e-book sales declined even further than the 14 % drop noted in 2015. According to Pew Research, even in the e-book-devoted U.S., 65 % of readers perused a paper book the year before, while only 28 % read the e-books. Print’s popularity has remained steady since 2014. It is attributed to the older consumers who refuse to lose the printed format and some younger consumers who seek the tactile pleasures of owning the traditional books.
Book owns physical beauty. Jack Cheng, who is a web entrepreneur, designer, and novelist, said that printed books can offer a more powerful experience to the reader. “I feel like with e-books, you often just get a meal on the same white plate as all the other meals,” he said. “But a nice hardcover is like having a place setting, having dinnerware selected to suit the food. The story is still the main thing you’re there for, but the choices around it — the paper stock, the way the book is typeset, the selection of fonts — they add their own subtle flavors to the experience of that story.” While the e-books are in a separate world, they all have covers certainly, but they’re rarely get the attention by the readers, as the book automatically saves its place and opens to the one that you left with. Even the font size and the typeface will change according to your preferences. These things seem to make reading more convenient, but do they make it memorable as the printed books do?