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Ebooks are a relatively new phenomenon. The first ebook was created in 1971 but ebooks didn’t become really mainstream until 2007 when the Amazon Kindle was launched. Before the late 20th century, there would be no discussion to be had – paper books were the only option for hundreds of years.
New inventions are generally improvements on what came before, and indeed there are many big advantages of ebooks over paper books, which I will be sharing in this post. Of course, paper books do have their own unique advantages too. I’m certainly not saying you should get rid of all your paper books and switch completely to ebooks! But the focus of this post is going to be on the advantages of ebooks.
8 Big Advantages of Ebooks over Paper Books
1. They are usually cheaper
You’ve probably noticed that on Amazon the Kindle version is always cheaper than the paperback or hardback. This is generally true for all sellers. Switching to ebooks is a great way to save money, especially if you read a lot.
2. They are more environmentally friendly
Ebooks obviously don’t use paper, so they save resources. They also completely avoid the environmental impacts of shipping, as they are delivered digitally to your device.
The production of an e-reader device has a larger environmental impact than a paper book. However, if you read a lot of books this will offset over time. This is especially true if you take care of your e-reader device and make it last for as long as possible rather than upgrading to the latest model. Even better, read ebooks on a device you already own, such as your phone, so you bypass an e-reader device altogether.
If you do have an e-reader device, it’s important to correctly recycle it at the end of its life so it doesn’t leech toxic substances into the environment.
3. They take up less space
Bookshelves full of books look very pretty, and you might choose them as part of your home decor. But at the end of the day, most of us want more space! If you are willing to sacrifice the pretty books and read ebooks instead, you can use your shelf space for other things such as houseplants or framed posters.
Related post: 8 Ways To Declutter Your Home By Going Digital
4. You can keep them forever
If you do a lot of reading, it’s easy to accumulate a large number of paper books over time. You just might not have the space so you’ll probably end up clearing out the ones you are unlikely to read again. With ebooks, you don’t have to worry about making the decision of which books to keep. You can keep them all forever without them taking up any physical space! Additionally, paper books always run the risk of getting lost or destroyed. With ebooks, this can’t happen as they are stored in your account/cloud.
5. You can highlight or write notes on them
In most reading apps, it’s possible to highlight sections of a book or make notes. Of course, it’s possible to highlight and write on a paper book too, but this comes with potential problems: you can’t change or undo the highlighting if you make a mistake or don’t want it highlighted anymore; it’s harder to sell or give away a book that is written all over; and some people just don’t like writing on books as they see it as defacing. With ebooks, you can delete or edit your notes so these problems disappear. You also have unlimited space for notes – not just the margins!
6. You get them instantly
One of the major advantages of ebooks is that there is no waiting for delivery and you don’t have to travel to a bookstore. If you decide you want a book, you can buy the ebook version and get it on your device immediately.
7. They are portable
If you use an ebook reader app on your phone, you will always have a book with you! You don’t have to remember to pack a paper book, nor will they take up extra space in your bag. In those moments when you have to wait somewhere, you’ll always have something to read.
8. You can change the size of the text
Sometimes, paper books have text that is really small, or even rather large! In ebook reader apps, you can easily customise the text size to your personal preference. This is a fantastic advantage if you are visually impaired, as it makes more books accessible. You can read any book in large print.
Do you read ebooks?
As I mentioned before, I’m not suggesting you completely banish paper books from your life. Some books are only available in paper form. Perhaps you’ll be gifted a book or buy one on impulse from a charity shop. You might want to take a paper book for a holiday read when you might not have a signal. Or you might be trying to reduce your time spent staring at screens. Whatever the case, most of us will read a combination of ebooks and paper books.
That said, I hope this post has got you thinking about the advantages of ebooks. I think in many cases, they are the best option, especially if you are trying to save space, money and the environment. Next time you are buying a book, would you consider buying an ebook? Do you already primarily read ebooks? Are there any other advantages of ebooks that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below.
I love reading but am quite the old fashioned and always buy physical books- I love a bookcase as a feature in a home as well which is what puts me off e-books, although I am really tempted to get a kindle for travelling as they seem so useful and lightweight, and the ability to read in low light is a massive draw for me!
Having a pretty bookcase as a feature in your home is definitely one advantage of sticking to physical books! But a kindle would be great for travelling and low-light situations like you say.