Which is the preferred option for reading – printed books or ebooks? This has been a topic of much debate in recent times. Today, readers are not limited to buying hard copies of printed books from bookstores. Books are available to them at a single click. Acquiring a copy of a book and reading it have become a lot easier thanks to the numerous reading devices available today – desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, eReading devices, etc. eBooks have transformed the way we access books. For years, people had to go to bookstores to find the books they wanted to read, but today you can get hold of a book that you want to read from your desk or, literally, from where ever you are. This is a huge transformation, and although research suggests that overexposure to LCD screens can affect sleep cycles and be a strain to the eye, there is no doubt that eBooks are becoming more popular by the day and that Gen Y readers prefer ebooks to printed book, in the process resulting in the eBook revolution that we are witnessing today.
While the choice of printed books versus ebooks is ultimately the reader’s preference, it is obvious that Gen Y consumers are more inclined towards reading ebooks. A study revealed that in 2012 nearly a quarter of the total publishing revenue came from ebook sales and that Gen Y buyers contributed more than 40% of the total revenues. While there is a majority of people who still prefer printed books to ebooks, clearly Gen Y readers are moving towards ebooks.
Today, it is not an uncommon sight to see people carrying eReaders instead of newspapers or books while commuting. The reason is simple; people don’t want to carry bulky books everywhere they go. Instead, the eReaders provide them many advantages, namely, they are light and only a few square inches in size making them easy to carry, numerous books can be stored on them or purchased from the Internet on the fly, to name a few. With ebooks “out-of-print” is never a problem. Using these eReaders, ebooks can be read while commuting and even in dim lighting or in the dark. eReaders also come in multiple languages and with the translation option. So people don’t need to go looking for a translated copy. Again, all these options are available with just a few clicks. For these reasons, ebooks have become the number one choice today. With new devices hitting the market every day, things have only become easy for consumers, as they are now able to make full use of the various features offered by these devices in terms of convenience, varying display sizes and increasing storage capacities.
While it is too early to write off printed books, it is but a matter of time before the transformation to ebooks is complete.