In a world where cars can drive themselves and robotic puppies can recognize their owner’s smile, old-fashioned bound print books have not lost their magic.
Print books remain the most popular reading format, and two-thirds of Americans read a print book in 2017, according to the most recent research by the Pew Research Center.
One in four said they had read an e-book, and one in five listened to an audiobook.
Four in 10 read only print books, fewer than one in 10 read only e-books, and about a third read both.
Other research found more than 90% of college students opted for physical books over digital.
Traditional books have fewer distractions than do books on devices and cause fewer headaches and eye strain, Pew said.
Despite the burst of Kindles, Nooks and other e-book readers on the market, hardback and paperback book sales grew, according to the Association of American Publishers.
And three times as many print books as e-books sold in Canada in 2017.
Readers prefer books they can share over e-books, and they feel more emotionally attached to physical books, said Sabrina Helm, lead author of a study of reader preferences and behavior and an associate professor at the University of Arizona.
Respondents cite the tactile experience of new books, the ability to highlight or write on paper pages, and even the ability to use their personal book collections to express their identity, she said.
“Digital books and physical books are entirely different products,” Helm said. “You have much more richness if you deal with a physical book, where all your senses are involved.”