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E Books Vs Paperback: Is Digitalization Taking Over the World of Publishing?

While many feel that e-books are far more practical, economical and environment friendly, there are many who still abide by the concept of reading from paperbacks.

Shomini Sen | News18.comshominisen

Updated:February 20, 2017, 1:32 PM IST
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E Books Vs Paperback: Is Digitalization Taking Over the World of Publishing?
While many feel that e-books are far more practical, economical and environment friendly, there are many who still abide by the concept of reading from paperbacks.

Our life is now slowly becoming digital. From books to bank accounts, shopping to entertainment, everything is now very easily available online with just a click of a mouse or even on your fingertips alibi through smartphones.

As we slowly turn to digital way of life, we are leaving behind a lot of things that made our growing up years significant. Of those, books and the feeling of holding a hard bound book in your hand and reading your favourite stories is one memory that is slowly fading away all thanks to the influx of e-books and e book readers in the market.

While many feel that e-books are far more practical, economical and environment friendly, there are many who still abide by the concept of reading from paperbacks. Take for instant author, filmmaker Aishwarya R Dhanush. Both she and her actor husband Dhanush are voracious readers, but she admits that she has never read anything on the Kindle. "I don’t encourage my children, who have a reading habit, to read from the Kindle. I personally have never read a book on the Kindle. Nothing can ever replace the joy one gets of holding a book."

Aishwarya is not the only one who prefers paperbacks over e-books.

In fact, the stupendous success of literature festivals and book fairs across the country each year where hoards of people go and buy hardbound books, is a testimony of the fact that paperbacks and hardbound books are yet to go off the market.

Ratnesh Jha, the Managing Director of Cambridge University Press says, "I would say there is still time before the market completely switches to e-books. But books are here to stay. There will be a larger blend of both e-books and paperbacks, but there is still time before we go completely digital.”

Jha, whose publishing house primarily focuses on academic books, states that the response at the World Book Fair is a testimony of the fact that books are yet to lose its target audience. “Although the millennial now prefers e-books, but we get great response every year at the world book fair, which just goes to show that people still like to buy books.”

Jha also believes that that when the entire format changes to digital, an author’s income would not get effected. “In fact, the reach would be wider and an author would gain the most from it.”

Actress, author Nandana Sen, makes a different point. The actress, who has written children’s books and is an avid reader herself, feels that the medium of reading may vary from person to person but it is the habit of reading that needs to be inculcated a lot more amongst kids. “Kids these days do not read as much. I read far more while I was growing up.”

A point that Jha agrees with. “The present generation should develop a reading habit. They read more, consume more. Reading should be encouraged by parents as well as the media. At this point frugal reading is far more than serious reading.”

As a parent Aishwarya R Dhanush feels that it is upon the parents to inculcate such habits amongst their children from an early age. “I ensure my children read a book before they go to bed. They developed the habit early in their lives. I think parents need to encourage their children to read more.”

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