By Benjamin Ibarra and Jasmin Shirley
York students prefer reading physical books and building up their library of their favorite books. Books also don’t keep people up at night as eBooks can from their blue light-emitting e-readers. A New York Times article reports that between 2008 and 2010, eBook sales soared by 10 times their normal sales. In 2011, Borders, a nationwide bookseller, declared bankruptcy, making the publishing industry panic in fear that sales of cheaper eBooks would cannibalize their print sales.
NPD, a global market information company, says eBook sales have dropped in 2021 to pre-pandemic levels of 2019. During the pandemic, many brick-and-mortar bookstores closed their doors, which benefited eBook sales. Veronica Adams has published her poetry in print and eBooks format, she said, “I believe eBooks are cheaper, but I think it depends on the person to decide on buying a physical copy.” She also mentioned that she had made more money publishing her work in eBooks format.
The New York Times has reported in the past, that the decline of eBooks’ popularity may signal books will be able to survive longer in this new digital age better than music or television did. Still, the book industry is not immune to technological upheaval. There is an expectation for eBook revenue to increase by five percent from 2023 to 2028 globally. Adams said that based on her experience with publishing two books, an author had a better chance of making more money from royalties from eBooks than from print books. Print royalties have lower revenues for their authors than eBooks.
Even though print royalties are lower for print, people still prefer physical books. Scott Sheidlower, A Librarian at York College said, “I think that people want to have a physical copy to annotate those notes in a book that was impactful to them and more accessible to have for later uses. Your favorite book can be kept for yourself or even passed down to your kids.” Articles in the past have stated that a new young generation is entering antique book collecting. A book’s cover, typography, and layout can be an art form. Books can be something to be cherished and collected. People gather around to read the words written in the margins of an antique book instead of reading the text. The article further states the dust jacket of a book plays a considerable role in pricing for these young antique book collectors. Political Science major, Ashley Khan said that it is easier to read off a physical book because you can use a bookmark to remember the page or dog eat it. Not to mention annotated parts of the book that were meaningful to you.
Studies have also shown that reading from a screen, whether your cellphone or your eBook reader, can negatively impact your sleep. According to an article published by The Sleep Foundation, it is recommended that people using screens on cell phones, tablets, and other portable devices utilize the “nighttime mode” when reading before bed. The nighttime mode should reduce blue light emissions and brightness that can interfere with your sleep cycle. When reading paper books, it’s a good idea to maintain good lighting because this is one of the main factors that can cause eye strain.
Pandora’s Box surveyed campus, students were asked whether they prefer print or eBook when reading a story.
|When reading a novel, which do you prefer?
|Number of Students
Most of the students surveyed preferred having a physical book to read. Political Science student Khan said, “Books can physically take you to your own clear space to read and not get distracted.” However, some book lovers discovered the convenience of eBooks for travel and quick reads. Book lovers continued to cherish their collection of physical books while slowly adopting eBooks as an option for consuming their favorite literary works.