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While e-books have enjoyed much popularity since 2010, it looks like readers are coming back around to good old-fashioned print. According to Bielsen BookScan, sales of paper books were up 2.4% last year.

This is a good sign, especially after it looked like e-books were poised to take a commanding share of the market after an explosion in growth in 2010. Growth has since slowed down in the e-book world, and e-books now make up a little more than a quarter of book sales in the U.S.

So why are we seeing a return to print? Here are a few noteworthy reasons:



College students prefer print. A study conducted by Hewlett-Packard found that college students much preferred print versions of textbooks (57%) as opposed to electronic versions (21%). This might have a lot to do with the following related reasons for the increase in print sales.

Print offers better reading comprehension ability. Numerous studies have been conducted, and all point to the same thing: readers get more information from print than they do from e-books. It may be because after all these years of print, we’re simply hardwired to glean information better this way.

Print also offers fewer distractions than e-books. Many e-books are not just meant for reading. They also offer e-mail, internet connectivity, apps, and a host of other features you’d find on a tablet or laptop. While these might offer a good value to the buyer, they also offer easy distractions from reading as those notifications and emails come in. With print, on the other hand, distractions are non-existent.

Another benefit of print? It offers easy tools to help the reader. Readers employ techniques like scribbling notes in the margins, sticking a post-it note on an important page, or folding down the corner of a page to make a quick mental note. E-readers have tried to adopt these techniques to the virtual setting, but they’re still just not as intuitive as they are with print.

Readers also like how when they purchase a print book, it’s theirs. It takes up space on their shelf. They can enjoy the cover artwork and the tactile sensation of the book in their hands. Not only do e-readers not offer any physical sensations, but you don’t have complete control over the books you buy. Amazon, for example, can remove an e-book from your Kindle without your permission, if it wants.


The fact remains, books are going strong. Talk to Advantage Book Binding today to learn how we can utilize the advantages of print to make your next project a success.