Hard copy fights back

hard-copy-flights-back

We have experienced a migration away from traditional mediums for a prolonged period, as readers abandon hard copy books in favour of e-books.  Fancy devices like the Kindle and the iPad have made the switch even more enticing.  We believe that this trend is slowing down and may even be reversing. In 2015, sales of e-books in the UK fell for the first time, while sales of printed books increased for the first time in four years.

Readers speak of the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you read a hard copy book versus an e-book. Unlike an e-book, you can dog-ear important pages, scribble with a red pen and create memories that will always be with you (physically). Given the pace at which technology is advancing, e-readers may become obsolete in the next ten years and we would then have to make a point of transferring our data onto the next new gadget.

A good hardcopy novel can also be easily shared with your sweet grandma without both of you properly analysing the digital sharing rights to ensure no rules are broken. Browsing the e-book online catalogue is just not the same as an hour spent sipping a nice cup of coffee at your favourite bookstore. There is also less to worry about as thieves will find it a lot more attractive to steal your e-reader than your dog-eared piece of history. And don’t forget about the satisfaction that one gets when flipping through a hard copy as you watch the pages reduce on the right-hand side. Physical numbers on the bottom of e-books do not give you the same level of satisfaction.

A Harvard Medical School study (2015) found that reading a light-emitting e-book interferes with your ability to fall asleep. This resulted in e-book readers feeling tired the next day and therefore having reduced concentration levels. Furthermore, a number of studies found that readers absorbed less from e-books than physical books. Readers performed worse at plot construction when using an e-reader relative to a physical book.

As a language services agency, Wonder Words is indifferent to the respective medium; however, we do appreciate the warm fuzzy feeling from an old-school book.