Chapter 3: Digital Versus Print

Book lovers everywhere have extreme stances on the digital versus print book debate. While some say the digital age has brought forth a form of reading that is easy on the earth and wallet, others believe digital books mean the death of the written word.

Whether you’re a die hard fan of one or the other, or someone who loves both, there are distinct pros and cons to each reading option. Regardless of which you prefer, both are still relatively prevalent in today’s market. 


Digital Books

In more recent years, everything has become digitized. The creation of the Kindle, among other tablets, has released books to take on the small screen. From indie writers to beloved classics, you can find almost any book online. 

One of the most pro-digitized book characteristics is definitely the convenience and versatility of reading on the go. Instead of lugging around two or three books on a vacation or trip, you only need a single device to have any and every book at your fingertips. You can even read most downloaded books on your phone, making it easier to fit your current read in whenever, wherever. 

The digital era not only benefits our own convenience, but also that of smaller, aspiring authors. It is easier now than ever to get your own work out there or read independently published books. Rather than having to wait for approval and book deals, authors can now release their work to the masses. 

As with everything potentially beneficial, there are some cons. Digital works may fit our lifestyles and schedules better, but it may not always be better for your reading attention and brain. I’ve recently heard that it can be more difficult to retain what you read on a screen compared to that of a physical book. Personally, I’ve experienced that the blue light strain from reading on a digital screen can have the opposite effect of reading bound books. Instead of providing a soothing effect, digital reading can stimulate your brain and keep you reading from dusk till dawn. Although, it is important to note that kindles don’t actually have this blue light, making them different from anything else on the digital reading market. 


Print Books

Print books, the traditional choice, have recently come back into demand as reading becomes trendy again. From the smell of ink-pressed pages to the feel of a book’s weight in your lap, this style of reading truly should never go out of style.


Without our bound books, we would be without booksellers and bookstores. As brick and mortar stores slowly lose their battle to the new tech era, bookstores remain open for the time being. 


Reading something tangible also allows for a greater appreciation for the overall art of the book. It forces you to take further time and care when it comes to enjoying reading. It gives your eyes a break from the constant phone and computer screens.


The main issue that can pop up with print is availability and price. It can definitely be more expensive and sometimes difficult to get new books. 


How you want to read is truly a personal choice that should hold no judgment. Personally, I enjoy both methods. I think it truly depends on when and what you are reading. Whether you enjoy turning pages or scrolling down a screen, reading should be experienced and enjoyed on your own terms.