E-Book Vs. Paper Book : The Never Ending Debate

I have always been a book reader. I love my stories in flesh and bones. And somehow I am very used to the jet-black prints on the off-white pages with a faint milky fragrance. But recently, my better half gifted me a Kindle.

I have always been very averse to the idea of “not buying books”. But then, now I have an e-reader, I realized it won’t be cost efficient to still buy books. *sigh*

There is nothing more relaxing than a smell of an old book. E-books don’t smell.

E-books have become a trending reading standard with the advancement of technology. But still, there’s a charm in reading an old-fashioned paper book. With the evolution of technology, the realm of reading has also been digitalized and now, the readers are divided against one another. On one side there are e-book fans and on the other hand, the lovers of old-school paper books.

According to recent findings of a survey by Pew Research Center, 65% of people polled that they read a printed book during the past year, while only 28% read an e-book.

Even I did a li’l survey on my Instagram and out of the 250 people who participated, 85% of them still prefer paper books. 


I am personally in favour of paper books. eReaders are definitely cost-efficient and save a lot of space. In fact, it leaves you with a lot of choice of books to read when you are on the move, however, the charm of a paper book can never be matched with this new age device.

Digging a li’l deep into the discussion that I had during my  survey:

There’s something special about physically touching a book

Die-hard fans of printed books claim that there’s nothing more intimate and soothing like the smell of paper and the whispering of the pages as if they are telling a story themselves while flipping them gently with the fingers. In fact, numerous studies have shown that you understand better when reading a paper book instead of an e-book. It is better for memory retention and focuses.

A Printed book can effectively build literacy in children

Several studies have shown that printed books are still a better choice when it comes to reading comprehension. As per a survey conducted by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, it was found that the literacy development in children was more productive with a printed book than with an e-book. It is because a published book offers a centralized focus on the story and also provides ample opportunities for interaction between the parent and the child while reading the book.

E-books are searchable

A practical advantage of going digital is that a portable e-reader can carry an entire library wherever you go. You can quickly research a book on e-readers without having to go to the library or bookstore. Moreover, the e-books are easily accessible and come with a refund of $3. Plus, you can buy them at low prices if you use e-book discount coupons.

Young readers prefer e-readers

Young people have more in common with e-readers and the electronic devices than a paper book. A study published in the journal Library & Information Science Research in 2014, stated that 10th-grade students, out of 143 most preferred e-readers. Those who were not much into reading also shared a strong preference for e-readers.

My favourite argument in favour of paper books says that the escape and emotional connect that a physical book provides, that can be never be achieved by an ebook. Physical books are so real – you can feel them – like a true friend! 

Owning an e-reader doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate paper books, it means you can’t stand without both. Both forms have their own charm; it’s all about your preferences, the only thing that matters is you should take advantage of reading, no matter which forms you select.

I love reading on my Kindle. However, there are certain books on my wishlist which I will never buy on Kindle. 

Enjoy the best of both worlds!

    1. I know! Even I have a huge library of my own. But now, becoming environment-friendly and pocket friendly 😉

  1. I too am a fan of printed book but then I am 53 and grew up reading printed books. When I was a young man eBooks were unheard of. Recently I subscribed to Amazon’s kindle but I simply could not get used to read books in digital medium. So I am back to printed books again.

  2. I have gone into the far end where this year 50% of the books I covered were as audiobooks. Remaining 30% on kindle and very few physical ones. It is not just the ease to carry and read anywhere anytime but also the fact that it is more discreet [ if you are sneaking a page or two in office breaks ] 😀

  3. Even I also started reading on Kindle lately, it's all together different to hold so many books at a time in Kindle. I just love the idea. But my love for paperback is more stronger. Having books in book shelf gives me immense pleasure, so will not stop gathering it too.

    MeenalSonal from AuraOfThoughts
    #MyFriendAlexa #MeenalSonalReads

  4. I recently wrote something related to this on my blog too. I love my kindle so much. But yes there are certain books which prefer to buy and keep in my bookshelf once I have them. Right now I stay away from home. So kindle is the best option for me.

  5. If this question is asked by waking me up at middle of the night, with out a blink i would say, hard cover books any single day! The smell of the books, the emotional connect i share by reading the book by holding it in my hand is irreplaceable!

  6. Oh, this debate is never ending. I would never be in favor of Kindle, too old fashioned I guess. Their is some happiness hidden in each page of the book we read and we can never have that feeling with kindle.

  7. A very balanced post and you have been fair to both sides. Nothing replaces a good old paper book for me, but there is no doubt about the convenience of an ebook. For me the main reason to opt for ebooks was that I was running out of space with the physical ones!!

  8. It's just a choice too difficult to make 🙁 As much as I love the smell of a freshly printed physical book or a old vintage copy of a book, it's just hard to find space for all that.

  9. ooh this debate. My favourite! I was an early adopter of e-books and have loved them for over a decade. While I understand the sentiments about paper books, the practical aspect of the electronic device always takes over for me.

  10. So I like to put it like this – I am reading much more these days becasue I have a kindle and a KU plan with it. had it not been for that, I would be dependent n paperback books, which I have to keep safe fro my kids. So that ways ereaders are a bliss.
    On the other hand, I do make it a point to fetch a book in my hands and read it, specially infront of my kids, because they will never pick on reading habits, until they see me doing the same.

  11. Hahaha… the all time conundrum now. I too, being an avid reader always is in a battle between this. Cant leave paper backs and difficult to accept ebooks. #LiveItYoungReads #MyFriendAlexa

  12. They each have their advantage, of course, but like you said, enjoy the best of both worlds. The only drawback is, now I buy both physical and digital books! My poor TBR.

  13. A great topic to write. I had this dilemma of choosing between paperbacks and ebooks when I started blogging. I do understand that ebooks are easier means when it comes to exchanging or sending copies for reviewing or sharing. But when it comes to classics then I make it sure to have them as hard copies. there is no question about it. Also I haven't introduced my kids to kindle yet. I always get paperbacks for them.

    Well written #readbypreetispanorama for #MyFriendAlexa

  14. Paper back anytime! The smell of book can't be compared to anything! But then there are pros to e-books too. Kindle can be carried anywhere easily with numerous book at a time.
    But then still I would always prefer to read books like Harry Potter in a paperback form. It transforms you to that magical world which I couldn't otherwise.

  15. I'm a sucker for books- be it a paperback or an ebook. It's easy to carry a kindle. but how can we forget the divine biblichor. Paperback wins hands down.

  16. I do love them both. More often I buy a lot of books online in Kindle. Yet there are those classic ones that I prefer paperbacks. As long as I am reading something it does not matter what I can get my hands on. You chose a very apt topic to post. Sudha

  17. For a very long time, I was fixated on paperbacks. I wasn't even ready to give ebooks a chance. But slowly but surely, I started falling in love with my electronic reader. Firstly, because it allowed me to carry a whole library whenever I was traveling. Also the inbuilt light source that allows me to read at night with the room light switched off.
    However, like you said, an ebook cannot replace the smell and feel of your favorite book. Curling up with a kindle just doesn't feel as comforting.

    But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter much how you're reading, as long as you're reading 🙂

  18. The advantages of reading an ebook can be many and it could be in sync with your digital habits but people still prefer ‘paperbacks’ when it comes to reading a book. Even though ebooks are comfortable and hassle free, reading on paper is better for memory retention and focus.

  19. I am a very much fan of paper books, but I can't deny the utility of e-book and e-book readers. Especially if you are a frequent traveler and an avid reader, e-book saves you from boring travel hours. It's easy to carry an e-book reader than carrying a pile of books on travel. But certainly, it can't replace the basic charms of paper books. That feel and smell… it's irreplaceable.

  20. A very aptly chosen topic and deftly written post. Just take any activity and we will find the role of technology, the question only remains about how much technology should play its role not whether technology has any role to play, that has almost become history. Books are no exception and the way you dealt the debate is quite interesting. Yes, the touch and feel has the edge and the smell makes the difference, in essence it is nurturing our senses holistically. By holding a paper book we feel we are close to nature and anything close to nature has that special bondage with us. e-book does save the nature by not cutting the tree for the paper book edition, somewhere we need to find the balance and see technology remains as an enabler never become an intruder and wherein it replaces human intervention entirely, then we are inevitably making ourselves redundant…just take the case of robots coming our way very soon.

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