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The Future of Print Books

Updated on November 5, 2018

One book - two formats

This is the only book I have in both formats. Photo added March 2014
This is the only book I have in both formats. Photo added March 2014 | Source

Print vs Electronic

As we become more technologically advanced, many people wonder what the future holds for print books. Personally, I am a firm believer they will always have a place in our homes, schools and other institutions.

As I look around my own home, I see books everywhere. My personal library consists of everything from children's books to books on home repair. The variety is probably one of the broadest you will see in a home library, but that is what makes it special. I think I can safely say I have enough books and magazines to fill four 5 foot high bookcases. That is a rough estimate, as several of my books are still in boxes as I do not have room on the existing shelves for them.

I am looking forward to the day when I can have all of my books in a room of their own; complete with comfy chairs for reading. A separate library is definitely in the plans of our forever home (which we should have within 5 years).

Print is Easier for Referencing

I have several more books stored in my new Kobo eReader; some of which I will eventually be ordering printed copies of. The beauty of an eReader is the ability to carry several books with you without it taking up a lot of space. But, on the other hand, having print books available for quick reference is great.

There will always be a need for print books. Be it churches or schools, print books will never be phased out completely. Can you imagine church pews full of eReaders? I can't! Has the Bible even been converted to an eBook?

Sure, electronic devices are making it easier for us to carry an entire library with us, but I find it easier to flip through a printed book when I am looking for something specific. For example, when searching for a certain recipe I pull the recipe book off the shelf and flip it open to where I think the recipe should be. With an eBook, chances are I would have to flip through one page at a time. And when it comes to making notes in a recipe book, technology just doesn't cut it. I am not a believer in writing in books, but when it comes to my recipe books it is acceptable. Would you want to cook something that wasn't very appealing and not make a note of it, only to find out the same results 6 months down the road? I know if I make something less than palatable I will definitely be making a note to never try that recipe again.

Children and Books

When youngsters are just learning to read I think it is vital they learn with printed books. It helps them remember the words and the sequence of a story when they see the pictures associated with the words. When my son was little, I bought him The Magic Castle Series . He could recite almost the entire book Dragon in a Wagon just by seeing the pictures and knowing what was next. If I missed a page he let me know right away.

He still has an appreciation for books and still loves to read. His tastes have changed considerably over the years, but sitting down with real books when he was young built the foundation for reading. My daughter was given the same foundation, and although she doesn't read quite as much as her brother she still has an appreciation for the printed book.

Print Books Will Never Be Gone

As you can see by the examples I have given, there will always be a place for print books. There is just something about having a home library filled with books. I cannot imagine my home book-free; it just wouldn't be right.

(March 2014) I also have to giggle at the little cartoon circulating on Facebook - the eReader is telling the print book how great it (eReader) is, and that print will be phased out. The print book reaches over and pushes the power button on the eReader and quickly ends the conversation.

What is your preference? Print or ebook? Please leave your comments below.

Dead Batteries and Ouch!

As much as I love my eReader and the number of books I can carry around with me, the one thing I don't have to worry about with a print book is a dead battery. It happens, and usually just when a person is getting to the good part.

Another downside to the eReader is the weight; especially those with tablet capabilities. I have fallen asleep while reading, and I do have to say - the eReader hurts a lot more than a paperback when it connects with one's face...hence the Ouch!


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    • brsmom68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Diane Ziomek 

      9 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      shape_shifter: you are right, print books will be around forever. In order to keep up with the times authors should publish their works in digital form, but also in print form. If they only publish in one format they are limiting their audience.

    • shape_shifter profile image


      9 years ago from The Free Waters of Planet Earth

      Good hub! Good points! When ereaders come smelling like an old crappy paperback, I'll bite... Plus I'm in love with my covers. I publish my novels in ebook form... you have to, but they'll never make paper print disappear!

    • brsmom68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Diane Ziomek 

      9 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thank you all for your answers. I used to say I would only read a print book, but as I have become more computer savvy I realized e-books are the wave of the future. As I said in my article I can't imagine my house without print books, but the portability and storage capacity of the eReader is great.

      As for the prices of e-books, they vary greatly. I personally will not spend the same amount on an e-book as a print book. I have seen some e-books priced higher than the price of a print copy. As an author, I price my e-books lower than most as it costs virtually nothing to distribute it.

    • annabelle13K profile image


      9 years ago

      I'm actually doing on article on this subject for a school newspaper. Although I support ebooks in some ways because they are portable, convenient, and perfect if you travel a lot, I would have to say print books. There's something so valuable about holding a print book in your hands. Personally, I do enjoy reading from a print book better than, well, the iPad, a Kindle, or a Nook.

    • wonderingwoolley profile image


      9 years ago from Madison, WI

      I was so torn! I still am, even after receiving a Nook for Christmas. I love the way books smells, and the sound of turning a page, or the satisfaction of closing the back cover knowing you finished another book. At the same time, Nook Books are usually cheaper, and I can get them instantly, no waiting for a book to come through in the library, no going to the bookstore to pick it up. It's also really portable, and does hold several books on it at once. It's a tough decision because I like the status of a book, and at the same time, I love looking at my bookshelves and bookshelves of book. I suppose I deep down vote print books, but I think we also need to realize we live in a technological age, and there's not a whole lot we can do about it.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      9 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I vote for print books! I don't want a Kindle or other e-reader. I enjoy holding a real book in my hands, smelling the paper and ink, turning the pages, and re-reading my favorites of the books filling my many bookcase shelves.

    • profile image


      9 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      I recently got a Kindle reader and it's been a real pleasure to have the features it contains, be able to adjust the type size, and not have to be burdened by carrying huge numbers of thick hardcopy books around (I'm currently reading an almost 900-page biography of Spencer Tracy and my entire Kindle is like one-third the size of this single book). But I believe I'll always look at it as a supplement or addition to print books, never a replacement. It's a great tool, but books are still books. (By the way, there was an interesting novel by science fiction writer Ben Bova back around 1990 or so called "Cyber Books" that anticipated a lot of what's happened with the E-reader thing).


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