printed book open on binding

The Advantages of Print Over eBooks

Students who read printed books perform better in reading, spend more time reading, and enjoy reading – much more than students who read mostly from digital devices. These are among the key findings of a 2021 OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) report titled: 21st Century Readers: Developing Literacy Skills in a Digital World.

The research, which spanned several countries, “sends a clear signal to parents and teachers that more must be done to safeguard reading in print for the future of education,” the organizations concluded. 

The OECD/PISA report added: “While it’s positive that printed books remain the preferred medium for reading, two-thirds of students are not reading enough – or enough in print – to acquire the best chance of developing strong literacy skills crucial in our knowledge-saturated digital societies. Young people must be given the best tools to navigate digital environments autonomously, and cut through the ‘fake news’ and disinformation. The best tool for reading is proven to be print.” The study also revealed that students who reported reading books more often in paper format than digital, read about 4 hours more a week. 

In this article, we will break down the benefits of reading hard copy and physical print over e-readers, kindles, and screens alike.

1. Students who read physical books read more often than those with digital books

The study from the PECD/PISA also revealed that students who reported reading books more often in paper format than digital, read about 4 hours more a week. While e-reading has seen an increase in popularity in recent years, 65% of readers still prefer print books over their digital counterparts.

2. Students who read physical books retain more information

Closer to home, the U.S. Paper & Packaging Board’s How Life Unfolds Campaign, an initiative promoting the sustainability of paper and print, revealed that readers of printed books absorb and remember more information than readers of e-books.

These claims were backed in a 2014 study conducted by Anne Mangen of Norway’s Stavanger University when her study revealed that readers using a Kindle were “significantly” worse at recalling events that occurred in a story than those who read the same material on paper.

3. Paper books cause less eye strain than electronic books

Electronic books can also cause screen fatigue which may lead to blurred vision, redness, dryness, and irritation. One survey of 429 university students revealed that nearly half had complained of strained eyes after reading digitally. 

With the ever-changing technological landscape, it means we spend more time in front of TVs, computers, and phones, so giving your eyes a break from the artificial light from these devices can help reduce eye strain, as well as help your sleep patterns.

4. Physical books mean fewer distractions

The U.S. Paper & Packaging Board’s website adds: “Equally important to committing to daily reading is placing an emphasis on pages – actual physical pages, not digital text. Holding an analog book ensures that you’re making the most of your allotted time, concentrating fully on the substance of the material. If you consume it digitally, you’re bound to succumb to the distractions that come with electronic devices. Picking up a book removes those obstacles and allows you to focus, which in turn allows you to better retain details and information.”

5. Print: helping the environment – and your brand

Printed books help foster your brand’s positive environmental practices because when you use paper products, you’re actually doing your part to help the environment – major purchasing criteria for most consumers.

Paper, packaging, and boxes are easily recycled because they come from a natural, highly renewable resource – trees. Choosing paper and paper-based products also encourages the growth and upkeep of healthy forests – nearly twice the number that is utilized today – to make the products we need!

Sun Print: options for all your publication needs

Sun Print Solutions offers cost-efficient offset printing services for all long-run publications – including booklets, magazines, brochures, and more. Equally cost-efficient printing for high-quality short runs (even one single booklet!) can be done on its fleet of digital presses. But creating a booklet with visual impact and shelf appeal also involves binding the pages together in the best way possible.

What Options Are Available for Book Binding?

Sun Print Solutions has a range of high-end binding options that reflect the professionalism of your organization or company. 

  • Saddle stitching (aka stapling) is economical and commonly used for booklets from 8 – 48 pages. 
  • Wire-bound books lie completely flat when opened and are ideal for publications up to 350 pages. 
  • Perfect binding uses a flexible adhesive glue to place a wrap-around cover on the edge of the squared-off pages and can handle up to 400 pages. 

Multiple time-saving and cost-saving options for managing and delivering your printed materials – including shrink-wrapping, drop-shipping, and inventory storage and fulfillment for easier and faster ordering – are also available.

Let Sun Print Solutions put its years of experience as commercial and digital printing and distribution experts to work for your educational institution, organization, non-profit, and brand.

Person reading physical print book which helps them retain more information compared to eBooks.


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