Last week we celebrated National Read a Book Day, an awareness day created to celebrate our love for books and encourage us to all pick up and enjoy one of our favourite reads for the day. Books are full of knowledge and wisdom, possessing the ability of allowing our imaginations to run wild from the comfort of our own home. Books also help us reach new insights and perspectives, often helping us tackle difficult situations in our lives.
In this digital age, there may be many who hold the opinion that books no longer hold the significance they once did. However, this is not the case. A study conducted by Kantar found that in 2021, 53% of adults say they read a book, with the majority reading a physical book. The same survey also affirms the popularity of paper books, as out of the 40% of the UK adult population who purchased a book in 2021, only 10% of them were electronic books.
We are all aware of the benefits you can gain from reading. It can help improve your communication skills and your vocabulary, it can help improve your memory and can also help you sleep and de-stress. What people aren’t aware of is the benefits of reading a paper book over an electronic version.
Reading a physical book is proven to lead to higher levels of concentration in children, who may often get distracted when reading an electronic book. The ability to switch between applications and the continuous wave of notifications can lead to reduced levels of concentration. A study conducted with 400 university students across 5 different countries found that 86% preferred to read longer texts in print, with 92% saying it improved their concentration.
Reduced Eye Strain
Electronic books are more likely to cause eye strain in comparison to a paper book. E-books often lead to your eyes feeling fatigued, which can result in blurred vision, dryness and irritation. Not only can e-books lead to eye strain, but they can impact your ability to sleep. A study conducted by a team at Harvard Medical School found when comparing paper book and e-book readers ability to sleep, e-book readers took longer to fall asleep due to the light emitting from the electronic device.
More Enjoyable Experience
The overall reading experience is much more enjoyable when reading a paper book. Electronic devices such as the Amazon Kindle are convenient for the reader, however, many still believe flicking through the soft pages of a paper book is much more satisfying and pleasurable. A study from Oxfam including 2,000 UK respondents found that 46% of people enjoy the experience of turning pages and 42% preferred the feel of a physical book in their hands when asked for their opinion on paper vs e-books.
Despite digital communications now being a common aspect of our daily lives, there is no denying that the need for paper books is still felt strongly throughout modern society.
To celebrate our passion for paper books, we asked Gemma and Ramy from the PG Paper team to tell us why they would always opt for a paper copy over an electronic version.
“I much prefer reading paper books, as I think they really amplify the joy of reading. Nothing beats the feel and smell of a book, and it’s one of the things that I can do to ‘step-back’ from the stresses of modern technology!”
“When it comes to reading, I’m still old school preferring to hold a Paperback Book. I personally enjoy flipping pages and holding a hardcopy in my suitcase rather than looking at a digital screen.
With all the advanced technology E-Books, Audiobooks, etc… Paper books remain simply a necessity and will always be my personal favourite tool to enlighten my mind.”