Are Electronic Books Replacing Printed Books

Last Updated: 16 Mar 2023
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Many revolutionary inventions tend to be replaced by more practical and innovative ideas; for example, VHS tapes were replaced by DVDs, music cassettes were replaced by music compact discs, just as printed books are soon to be phased out by their digital counterparts. If printed books are to be phased out what is driving this transition forward? The traditional printed book market is facing the competition of the electronic trend. The electronic book market has gained popularity in the realm of education because of the accessibility of electronic books. Digital books have worked their way into the daily lives of society, so it does not matter where you go, if you own a digital device there is a virtual library available at your fingertips for a fraction of the cost of printed books.

No longer are students burdened with carrying heavy backpacks full of textbooks. "The ability to log in to any computer at school, home, work or a lab to study or read eliminates lots of weight in a student's daily backpack" (Frank Lyman 2008). Electronic books take up up little memory room on a computer or portable electronic device. Consequently, this provides the capability to anyone carrying an electronic digital device to store and carry with them a broad selection of books. Readers no longer need a bookshelf or a library room, hundreds and thousands of electronic books can be store in a computer or a reading device. Society and the new generation of students have positively embraced the platform of electronic books due to its portability and being able to access these books from virtually anywhere.

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Modern technology has changed the way society accesses information and data. You can be in the comfort of your living room and be able to buy your favorite book in a matter of minutes. Electronic books have empowered society by giving them access to a wide array of book titles. Now, the ability to search for millions of books instantly will make finding all that information easier (Steven Johnson 2009). Electronic books are delivered directly to the consumer. Consequently, printed material and brick-and-mortar stores might not be no longer essential.The convenient access has helped the exponential growth of digital book sales.

For instance, January/February 2010 to January/February 2011, the ebook market grew 169.4% while combined categories of print books dropped 24.8%(Sporkin 2011). In fact, digital books are so accessible that" E-book reading has an 'impulse buy' quality to it," (Steven Johnson). In the digital world, accessibility is everywhere, there are streaming services like Oyster who offers unlimited access to more than 200,000 electronic books for just $9.95 a month ( Services like Oyster, and having the ability to access thousands of book titles, has caused the price of books to be reduced substantially.

Due to the accessibility and being exponentially more cost effective, student have trended toward electronic books, and away from tradition printed material. "A dramatic increase in popular college textbooks now available in eTextbook versions is lowering cost and streamlining study habits for millions of college students" (Lyman Frank 2008). Many higher education textbook publishers are providing college students with more options when it comes to text material. For example, CouseSmart an electronic book platform that was founded and supported by five higher education textbook publishers (Pearson, Cengage Learning, McGraw-Hill Education, John Wiley & Sons Inc. and the Bedford, Freeman, Worth Publishing Group.

So far, CourseSmart has converted more than 4,000 titles to an eTextbook format on a common platform (Frank Lyman 2008). Electronic textbook platforms like CouseSmart provide a financial relief to college students. Carla Sodano a student at King's college in Wilkes-Barre, PA expressed her opinion about CourSmart " CourseSmart allowed me to purchase and read the material needed for my course at half of the cost of a printed book" (Frank Lyman 2008). With the price of printed textbooks being so high and the buyback being so low, this would be a great advantage for college students. Electronic books have given not just college students, but readers in general, the ability to access thousands of book titles for a much cheaper price than traditional books.

For example, a traditional printed copy of "The Goldfinch" a best seller novel written by Donna Tartt is $ 18.99 in retail stores, while an electronic copy is only $6.99 ( Consumers have been in tremendous favor of the reduced prices on the e-market, with the comparative retail pricing being substantially inflated, to the point where buying printed copies is no longer financially beneficial to the purchaser.

The development of technology and society are deeply interdependent. The introduction of electronic books has revolutionized the generations of today in the way they are able to receive literary content. These fundamental changes have enabled everyone with an internet connection to have a virtual library in their electronic devices, following them around regardless of their location. Given the opportunity to carry these virtual wells of information, no longer do readers have to stand in line to access their favorite book titles. As a result, there is a near limitless selection of available book titles waiting to be read at any moment by anyone inclined to do so. This large variety of book titles has reduced the cost of electronic books drastically. In summary, change and competition in the way we read benefits everyone, which will only help further the way we learn and share our stories with the world as a society.

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Are Electronic Books Replacing Printed Books. (2023, Mar 16). Retrieved from

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