Have E-Books Taken Over And Pushed Print Books Out Of The Picture?

The happiness of entering in a book store. The smell of new books. Stuffing the bookshelf with new collections. Reading peacefully in a park under a tree. Using beautifully created bookmarks. It is an invaluable experience, and nothing in this world can ever replace that. Being an avid reader yourself, you might be familiar with that excitement of holding a new book in your hand and the feelings it invokes. From finance leaders to professors and from casual readers to Christian leaders, print books hold immense importance in every individual’s life.

And as Michael Stickler Principal at Leadership Books, states,

Besides, there is no better presentation for a thought leader, than a hardcover book wrapped in a beautiful dust jacket with a thoughtful note autographed just for a potential customer. It becomes a meaningful presentation of your ideas.”

However, the digital age has put a question mark in the minds of readers who use print books to excel in their leadership roles.

“Is the age of print books dying?”
“Will E-books take over the world of reading?”

Given the present situation in the world, where we can shop from our favorite stores from the comfort of our homes, where technology is making things easy, convenient, and super simple for the people, where businesses operate on the internet and where technology is the new ruler, it might not come as a shock if e-books really take over the world of reading. The question is, are they?

The Age of Technology and Its Effects on the World of Reading

While technology has taken over almost every sector in the world, it has not been able to have a drastic impact on the industry of traditional print books. Surprisingly, Generation Z, the millennials who are always in search of convenience, are not letting e-books take over the world of books. These young adults are actually contributing to making the print industry thrive. According to statistics, 63% of print book sales in the United Kingdom are those under the age of 44. The people who are choosing e-books over traditional books are mostly those who are 45 or older. The reason being, adults and elderly individuals find it painful to read a physical book. E-books allow them to turn the page with a single tap on the screen, and they can adjust the font size as per their needs

The findings from the Pew Research Center stated that 24% of the American population did not read a book in 2017. As per Michele Smith, states,

In the United States, 75% of people aged 18 to 29 claimed to have read a physical book in 2017. This is higher than the average of 67%, according to Pew Research.

It can be said that print books are far from dead and are actually thriving. It is a sign that cultural rot has not yet reached to the world of books.

Traditional Printed Books Vs. E-books

The advent of e-books certainly has its own set of unique benefits, especially for young students who are leaders of the future. Easy to download, these books help to save money, eliminate the need to carry heavy backpacks, and they are safe from damage.  While on one hand, e-books are making our lives easier, it is putting our health at risk. Using e-books significantly increases is screen time, which can affect our eyesight as well as the cognitive abilities of thought leaders. That being said, traditional books are vastly superior to e-books, and there is no denying all thanks to the fact, research, and statistics.

When reading physical books, one can relax without putting excessive strain on their eyes and brains. E-books are convenient and sometimes a cheaper option, but extended exposure to the screen puts excessive strain on the eyes and brain. It negatively impacts one’s health. Moreover, print books offer a distraction-free reading experience. A person who is reading on their smart-phone or tablet is at a higher risk of being distracted by social media notifications and games. Print books offer the readers an uninterrupted experience.

Print books are extensively popular among young leaders, and this fact has been supported by a study carried out by West Chester University researchers. The study found out that what one reads on a digital book is hard to absorb as it paves the way for low reading comprehension.

Besides all these benefits, the millennials are all about posting their lives on social media. A print book allows them to show the beautiful covers of the books they are reading, which is not something they can do with while reading e-books. Moreover, bookshelves contribute to enhanced aesthetics of homes, and print books can give a cozy feel to a room.

Between 2008 to 2010, the sale of e-books increased rapidly, but there has been a shift in the numbers in the past two years. Association of American Publishers stated that e-book sales have a 20% share in the total book sales, but this number has now started to decline. There was a sharp decline in the sale of e-books in the year 2015. The Principal, Michael Stickler of Leadership Books puts a valid argument out front. 

If e-books represent only 20% of the market and it’s declining, why are we stepping over the 80% to get into the pool where there are literally millions of authors.”

“Is it because Amazon says so?”
“Or, because it’s easy to publish and call yourself a published author?”
“E-books should not be the focus of nonfiction leadership authors.”

Nothing can be said about the future as to whether the e-books will take over the world of books or not, but this can be said that print books are nowhere close to its end. The print book industry is alive, thriving, and serving passionate readers!


With over 20 years combined in the marketing, publishing and public relations industries in the United States and abroad, Michele Smith has specialized in helping authors and business owners achieve publishing success. Michele Smith is an award-winning marketing professional with years of marketing experience in diverse markets. As a 4x published author, seasoned publicist, and national speaker; Michele Smith has appeared on Rachael Ray, ABC National News, Success Magazine and many national radio programs. 

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