In the future, books won’t be books at all. Pixely plots will replace cut-creating pages, and cover art will become a strange relic to be studied by our puzzled descendants.
That’s the narrative we’ve been told, anyway: print is dead, and ebooks are the way of the future. But a slew of new studies have thickened the plot.
Most recently, Naomi S. Baron -- author of Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World and a HuffPost blogger -- surveyed the reading habits of students around the world, and found that a whopping 92 percent of them prefer print.
Baron cited the pleasure of feeling the progress you’ve made in your reading (rather than making note of an onscreen percentage) as one possible explanation for print’s popularity. Plus, ebooks aren’t waterproof, and add to the headache-inducing screen time young readers are likely to rack up on their computers and mobile devices.
In an interview with The New Republic, Baron said another major strike against ebooks is that students “get distracted, pulled away to other things.”
This news is in keeping with a New York Times article from last fall, reporting that ebook sales are slowly declining. Amazon -- the online megastore largely responsible for the proliferation of ebooks in the first place -- seems to have already caught wise, as the company recently announced that it will open brick-and-mortar bookstores soon.
The print resurgence hasn’t stopped some libraries from going “bookless,” or a bevy of developers from scheming up ebook-oriented apps, targeting those readers who enjoy both mediums.
As the battle rages on, let us know which you prefer: print or ebooks.
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