E-books are gaining popularity worldwide: why are people changing their reading habits?

More and more people around the world are switching from physical to electronic books. With less and less time left for books amidst the daily routine, people are trying to devote at least the freer parts of the day to reading – when the bus is stuck in a traffic jam, when waiting for a person who is late for a meeting, or simply when taking a few minutes for a coffee in a cafe. But this is not the only reason why people turn to e-books.

What makes people change their habits?

There are many different reasons why people choose to switch from paper to e-books. One key reason is convenience – whether it is for purchasing, reading or carrying. You don’t have to go to a bookshop or library to buy an e-book, or ask friends to lend you one. Finally, even if you buy a paper book online, you have to wait for it to be sent, whereas an e-book is already on your computer, kindle or tablet as soon as you buy it. It’s also important that you can buy an e-book at any time of the day, wherever you are, without having to plan your time around the opening hours of a bookshop or library.

The convenience of carrying the book is also an important consideration. A small tablet or reader will always find a place in a backpack or handbag, but a thicker book – not so much. Not to mention the weight, and that you can save more than one e-book. Entire libraries of books can be stored on the reading device. So, for reading on the go, an e-book is the perfect solution.

The price of e-books is also a very important argument. It is almost always lower than paper books. Often, e-book sellers come up with various ‘gifts’ for e-book buyers to further arouse their enthusiasm. For example, they give a second e-book as a gift, or offer a monthly subscription that allows you to read any of their books for a few euros for a whole month.

A less frequent but no less important focus these days is the preservation of nature – fewer printed books, more preserved trees.

E-book lovers believe that even reading an e-book is more convenient. E-books may have links to certain places, titles or terms, so that the reader can immediately look up lesser-known and more interesting things. 

Finally, e-books may also include audio and video clips or animations to further enhance understanding of the content. Some can also be reformatted. By installing certain applications, an e-book can be converted into an audiobook, which is useful for people with visual impairments, where instead the person will hear a narrator read the book for them.