Why Physical Books Will Never Die

Why Physical Books Will Never Die

We’d like to apologise to all our bookworm readers. It was wrong of us to suggest you should get rid of your books.

You were right to jump to the defence of your beloved books. Because we love them, too.

And really, in hindsight… what the heck were we thinking?

To help us put things right, we’ve enlisted the help of Susan Spelic (director of independent publishing house The Reading Mountain) and Kasia Dudziuk (a children’s book designer and illustrator).

We’re so sorry, books. These are the reasons we’ll never stop loving (and buying) you.


The Tactile Experience Is Irreplaceable

Touching book

Snuggling up on the couch with a blanket and cup of tea just isn’t the same with an eBook, right?

We think the tactile nature of a physical book is integral to the reading experience. And Kasia agrees.

“Their tactile and visual quality brings a wonderful satisfaction to reading,” she says.

“Compared with eBooks, physical books last longer, are easier to share with someone, and give people a sense of pride when they form part of a personal book collection.”

Holding a physical book is a part of the pleasure of reading. It feels more intimate – especially in a world full of emails, instant messaging, and social media scrolling.

Susan is on the same page, too.

“I rarely see a person reading a printed novel on a train these days,” she muses.

“But it’s common to see a copy of a popular read in the hands of pool dwellers and beach goers on holidays. It’s relaxing.”


They Make Beautiful Gifts

Giving a gift

Even with so many people using eBooks, people just keep on giving physical books as presents. Why is this?

“Books connect people,” Susan explains.

“Physical books can be passed from one person to another, often with a knowing glance saying, ‘You’ll love this read! I couldn’t put it down.’”

It’s meaningful to gift a book to someone. Putting in that effort to show you care about someone’s interests will always make someone feel warm and fuzzy inside.


They May Be Better for Development

Child reading

Research suggests babies and toddlers learn best hands-on. Children’s attention is better captured when physically holding a book, while reading on a screen may affect the ability to engage with the words in a meaningful, deliberate manner.

However, Susan reminds us not to dismiss eBooks so easily.

“eBooks are great for the classroom,” Susan says.

“Kids love eBooks as they’re interactive. It’s great when kids show independence and take control of their reading. eBooks are also easy to access instantly and usually less expensive.”

“Reading is reading regardless of format, so isn’t reading an eBook a good thing too?” – Susan

We tend to agree. Getting your child to read eBooks is better than no reading at all.


They’re Nostalgic

Nostalgic older couple

Oh, that delicious book scent. With just one whiff, you can be transported back to your 5-year-old self, tucked in bed while being read your favourite book ever for the hundredth time.

Kasia thinks so, too.

“Printed books last longer and have the smell to prove it,” she reflects.

“I still have books in my library from my childhood and I hope I can read these stories to my children.”

So, it’s no wonder we upset a few people when we suggested childhood books could get the boot. Now we know better.


They’re Better to Read Before Bed

Parent reading to child

Mobile phones, computers and TVs emit a blue light that negatively impacts sleep. The artificial light confuses the body as to the time of day so it doesn’t know when to get ready for sleep.

“It has been scientifically proven that reading a physical book before bedtime helps children go to sleep,” Kasia says.

“Whereas looking at a digital screen before bedtime stimulates the brain and actually sabotages sleep.”

Kasia goes on to further explain the artificial lighting can create problems with:

  • Falling asleep
  • Messing with the circadian clock
  • Supressing melatonin generation (a hormone that encourages sleep).

All this combined will result in you feeling more tired and less alert when you wake. Not really the best formula to carpe diem, is it?

Why It’s Important to Reduce Screen Time

Man using screens

Speaking of screen time, printed books provide a great alternative to help you reduce yours.

If you’re spending 8 hours a day looking at a computer, intertwined with checking your mobile and watching TV before bed… as mum used to say, your eyes will turn square!

Well, maybe not, but it can still:

  • Cause headaches
  • Hinder your brain’s performance
  • Lead to depression
  • And even mess with your impulse control.

Knowledge of these problems has already come a long way, and awareness is continuing to spread.

“People probably initially didn’t realise the danger associated with too much screen time,” Kasia says.

“[But now] most families are aware of the need to limit screen time and opt for a physical book,” adds Susan.

Choosing to read a printed book is a fantastic way to take a break from a screen-heavy day.


It’s Much Better to Browse in a Bookstore


Browsing a new book to read online isn’t the same experience as it is in a bookstore.

You can flip through book after book, chat to the employees about their recommendations, and judge all the books by their covers. How better to spend a rainy day than perusing independent bookstores with a strong takeaway coffee in hand?

“Physical books can be more easily shared and [they] invite potential readers to browse them before reading or buying.” – Kasia


Dearest books, please accept our humble apology. We’re off to cosy up on the couch with one of you right now.

Feeling motivated to put your favourite novels on display now? Check out some of our book display and storage ideas for inspiration.

“Seeing a 5-year-old’s signature inside a cover from days gone by is a cute reminder that books belong to people. [And you know] it’s a favourite book if it hasn’t been thrown out over the years.” – Susan

Need to keep your book collection safe and out of the way? Get a self-storage unit. Discover our affordable, flexible options here and book today.

Subscribe to our Blog

View the privacy policy.