Americans have been found to prefer print books over e-books

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Although more Americans own electronic readers, most prefer reading print books.

ebooks-vs-printed-booksDespite an increase in electronic readers and tablets, most Americans still prefer flipping through the pages of a book and I doubt that Americans are the only ones with that attitude.

A report released recently found that 70 percent of Americans read print books last year, but only four percent read exclusively e-books. According to the survey, conducted by the Princeton Survey Research Associates International, the average adult read five books in 2013.

While Americans read both print and e-books, the survey also found that half of American adults now own an e-reader or tablet, which is a seven percent increase from 2012.

While e-books are fine and good they cannot, in the minds of many folks, myself included, ever compare with “real” books, that is to say those printed on real paper or, as some greenies like to call it “dead trees”.

In addition to that, while it is always made out to be green to go for e-book readers and e-books, the environmental impact of e-readers is rather a huge one all things considered and, in addition to that, should your service ever fail you have lost all the books you have downloaded, regardless whether you managed to get them free or have paid good money for them.

The majority of e-books also cannot legally and practically be passed on to someone else if and when you have finished with them, unless they are in the portable document format (PDF), though some publishers of PDF e-books may ask you not to pass them on to others, and also you cannot, if you would with to do so, print them out – not even single pages – though it can be done with those that are produced as PDF documents.

Firstly, I personally choose not to use Amazon for ethical reasons and thus also will not use Kindle and Kindle e-books (also not for review purposes) for ethical reasons as Amazon is a tax avoider and a bad employer, and secondly I prefer read a real book and do not wish to have to rely on batteries and such like for the thing to work. And, what many people, especially also the greenies who advocate e-books, do not seem to take into consideration is the environmental footprint of e-books and especially the readers.

Paper, if produced ethically and from sustainably managed sources, especially if with high content of recycled, is, despite claims to the contrary, rather environmentally friendly as the trees are, in general, grown for but for the one purpose, that of making paper and are always replanted in a ratio of at least 3:1, that is to say three new trees for every one felled. The production of paper also provides many, many jobs, in the countries where it is made and not in some far away place where slave labor is being used to produce the e-readers.

Wood, from which paper is made, and it would be better still if it be made from Hemp, as it used to, to leave the wood for other, more noble purposes, or from rags, is a permanently renewable raw material, unlike plastic, rare earths and rare metals which are required for the making of e-readers. Trust me, I am a forester.

© 2014