Will Tablets and e-Publishing Kill the ‘Paper Books’?

Will the popularity of eBooks, electronic readers and tablets spell the death of traditional print media and books? Will our appetite for eBooks and online articles and shortening attention spans lead to the end of once-beloved paperbacks and hardcovers? Most publishing houses seem to think so as they are now publishing eBook-only versions of many books. Also, with the growing popularity of smartphones, e-readers and tablets, most publishing companies are focusing their efforts on digital publishing.

Why digital publishing is becoming popular?

Global tablet shipments broke records last year and show no signs of slowing down in 2013. According to latest estimates, more then 150 million tablets are expected to be shipped this year. Due to these alarming figures, publishers are scrambling to publish content for tablets and e-readers. People always carry their smartphones or e-readers with them and this allows them to read eBooks and online content anytime they want.

One of the reasons why people prefer tablets and online content is because they want to be more environment-conscious and want to reduce paper consumption. This is why companies, readers and environment agencies have embraced mobile devices. Most companies are also publishing eBook-only or only online content to project a more eco-friendly brand image.

Tablets also allow people to buy books from the comfort of their homes or when they are on the go and they don’t have to wait for the books to be delivered. EBooks can be bought and read instantly on tablets and other mobile devices. In these stressful times, people do not have the luxury to go out and buy books and they don’t have the patience to wait for days for books to be delivered after they have bought these paper books online. Reading ebooks on tablets can also be more satisfying as readers can search for certain words and phrases, go to any page they want very easily and can even make temporary notes on the pages.

People also do not have to worry about storing bulky books in bookshelves or preventing the yellowing of books with eBooks. Tablets also eliminate the need to protect books from insects and dust and users can store thousands of digital books in a small device. As technology advances, tablet and e-reader manufacturers are able to create better displays that do not strain the human eye and publishers are now able to enrich the reading experience as they are able to add audio, video and flash components to digital books.

Don’t forget about paper books just yet!

Paperbacks and hardcover books are showing immense resilience in this digital publishing era. Recent surveys in the US have shown that just over 16% of the respondents have actually bought an eBook. This goes to show that most people still prefer buying traditional paper books. EBooks and e-readers may never truly replace books; instead they could compliment traditional printed books.