Physical Books vs. E-Books, Which Do You Prefer?

  • Hi SVS Community,

    I thought this would be an interesting topic to post in the community forum.

    In short, physical books are still dominating e-books! This is great news for children's books authors and illustrators. Personally, my 9-year old daughter prefers a book in hand every time!

    Here are some interesting research findings. According to Pew Research, 2018, 67% of Americans have read a physical book in 2017 vs. 26% reading an e-book.1


    Interestingly, young readers are a major player in driving up physical book sales!

    Admittedly, as a 40-year-old father and husband, I still prefer a physical book over an e-book, but a consumer of both.

    Would love to hear your thoughts.

    When reading children's books, do you and your kids prefer a physical book or e-book?


    -Jeremy Ross
    Source included above

  • @Jeremy-Ross I will always prefer a physical book because I like the smell and the touch I can’t get from an ebook. I also can’t read long off of a screen very long for health problems.

  • For children's books, I definitely want a physical copy. Cramming the illustrations on such a small screen does not make for a good reading/viewing experience. I need to be able to take it all in at a glance, and flip back with ease to earlier pages. Same with instructional art books. Other books I'm fine with an ebook, and audiobooks are a nice convenience for when you're doing chores, rendering artwork or for long road trips.

  • Speaking as a parent of young kids (all under age 11), all 3 of my kids absolutely love reading and love books - both illustrated and physical - and none of them like eBooks. We tried getting them the Kindle Kids that includes all kinds of illustrated kids books and they won't touch them. They just want to go to the bookstore and buy a book and read it 10 times in a row.

  • Hands down, physical books for me for any genre. I like the physicality of it them, touching, texture, more engaging. For children’s books, I like them as physical works of art.

    I don’t know why but ebooks feel “cold” to me and I tend to forget I even have them! 🙂 Maybe it’s because I’m not in the situation to consume a lot of ebooks (example, taking public transit to work) and I’m always looking at a screen for my job search and side hustle.

  • SVS OG

    I personally love a printed book than an ebook.

  • As an avid reader i have experienced both pros en cons with both types of books.
    Pros with an e book are that it doesn't take extra space in your backpack or suitcase when you travel.
    I read on my phone or tablet when i know every space in my luggage matters. I also like that you can read with 'night vision' which is not too bright/straining for your eyes.
    It also saves a lot of trees to have an e book instead of a physical copy.
    Cons would be that it's another screen you gaze at. I like collecting the books i have read and like so with e books my book self stays empty. When it comes to children (I don't have any yet) I want them to stay away from any electronic device as long as possible. Because i think it's better that they enjoy the physical books and playing outside first.

    Pros with a physical book are that i love the smell of it and pretty much because it feels more calming and comforting than a cold electronic device. Mostly nostalgia i would say. With children it is definitely more cozy to read physical picture book who are bigger than a tablet. I also think it is a nice example of learning to take care of your belongings. When too wild the page will rip( ending up in permanent damage) while with a tablet you pretty much only need to hold it tightly enough.
    Cons are obviously the usage of a lot of paper and thus trees. I try to plant trees as paying back for my paper usage but not everyone thinks that way 🙂 and the fact that in bed when i read i need light for physical books which annoys my husband when he wants to sleep.

    I have been listening to books a lot while doing other things. i believe it is a great way to catch up on books you want to read. Obviously in illustration it doesn't work to use listening books but i just wanted to mention them 🙂

  • For me I prefer ebook, it is quick and I can also listen to it on my mobile phone.
    For children only printed book.

  • I always loved phisical books.
    Recent years, I started reading some e-books, mostly non-fictions, and novels. I also tried listening audio books when I am painting, or doing house chores.
    I found e-books and audio books have a place my everyday life some how. But they do not replace my need to hold a real physical book, and I have a hard time thinking these formats will work with picture books.

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