​​eBooks vs printed books: Which are better for you?

Since the release of eReaders like the Kindle and Kobo, there has been fierce debate on whether eBooks are any better than traditional printed books. While some argue that eBooks are more convenient than printed books, others just can't part from the physical pull of other paperbacks.

To help you decide if switching to eBooks will benefit you, we're deep diving into the pros and cons of eBooks and eReaders. Keep reading to find out which book medium you should choose!

In this blog:

Why choose eBooks?


One of the most apparent advantages of using an eReader is convenience. If you're an avid reader, you'll know the struggle of packing several books into your suitcase for your holidays or a long commute.

Some books just aren't commute-friendly (hardbacks, we're talking to you), so a more convenient option wouldn't go amiss.

Thanks to eReaders, we no longer have to juggle multiple books on the go to get our daily reading fix. Instead, all you need to pack is a compact and lightweight eReader.

Not only are eReaders better for carrying around in your bag, but they also hold multiple books within them – you can store thousands of eBooks all on one eReader!


If you prefer buying books instead of borrowing them, cost is another factor you should consider.

While the initial cost of buying an eReader is a heftier sum than purchasing a book (the latest Kindle costs upwards of £70), you'll save a lot of money in the long run.

As there are no printing costs associated with eBooks, you can often purchase them at ridiculously low prices – some eReaders even get access to free eBooks!


There's nothing worse than finding out your next read has sold out before you could grab a copy off the shelf. Luckily, you won't have that issue with eBooks!

eBooks don't run out of stock and there's no waiting time once you've made your purchase either, as your eReader will download the eBook immediately. Comparing this to the wait you see when buying books online or waiting for books to become available in stores is pretty tempting.


Something unique to eReaders and eBooks is their customisability. While printed books come in a set layout and can't be altered, you can change the font size, line spacing and format of eBooks on your eReader to suit you – some eBooks even allow you to change the font colour and style!

Why choose printed books?


There's just something about reading a physical book that makes the information sink in more.

According to a study by Virginia Clinton, readers may be more efficient and aware of their performance when reading from paper compared to screens.

While this is down to your personal preference, it seems that many also prefer the overall feel of a printed book. It can feel quite alien to hold an eReader, whereas a traditional paperback or hardback offers a comforting and familiar feel.

Eye health

We've spent years trying to reduce the amount of time we spend staring at screens, so it's no surprise that spending too much time reading on an eReader can impact your eye health.

Even with the anti-glare technology that's been added to selected Amazon eReaders and other branded devices, you can still experience eye strain and fatigue from spending too much time on your eReader.

As long as you have good lighting, you won't have this issue with printed books (unless you're not wearing your glasses!)

Environmentally friendly

While this depends on your reading habits and purchasing choices, printed books tend to leave a smaller carbon footprint than eReaders.

eReaders consume more carbon to produce than printed books, so switching to an eReader only makes sense if you're an avid reader. Even then, physical books could be considered better for the environment as they're easier to recycle.

Recycling printed books is a widespread practice, and more and more publishers are using environmentally-friendly materials to produce new books, so it makes sense to stick with physical books if you're conscious of environmental impact.


Even with all the benefits that eReaders and eBooks offer, printed books are still favoured by most.

In fact, a recent study by Stora Enso has shown that 65% of people around the world prefer physical books, compared to just 21% who prefer e-books and 14% who favour audiobooks.

Whether it's the way a printed book feels in your hand or how the pages smell, you can't deny the pull physical books have on readers!

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