The University of North Georgia's Student Newspaper




Print Books Out-Rival E-Book Counterparts

Photo by Gavin Beck

Despite living in a digitalized world, print copies of books are still dominating the market over electronic ones. With nearly every book imaginable available at the touch of a button, a question arises of why so many people still choose to read physical copies.

In 2022 print sales still accounted for 78.8% of all book sales while e-books only garnered the remaining 21.19%. This means for every four print books sold, only one e-book is.

Print books sold around 788 million copies last year while only 191 million e-books were sold. This is a significant margin between the two styles of publication, but this was not always the case.

During e-book’s peak in 2012, the margin was much smaller with 215 million copies being sold electronically, and only 591 million being sold in print form. In that time the e-book market has dwindled a substantial 21.07% compared to print sales which have grown at an incredible 33.45%.

So, what caused this flip in the script when it comes to how consumers want to read?

It seems to come down to simple human nature when people decide how they want to read books. Many people choose to go out of their way to have a more hands-on and personal experience with the book they are reading.

E-books are great for convenience but it’s satisfying to have something you can actually flip in your hands, and you can really see the progress you have made with the physical copy.

— Kinzie Peavy, former student and avid reader

This seems to be the general consensus with many young adults who enjoy reading in their spare time. Peavy also explains that books are a way for her to “step away from the busy digital world” she lives in. Reading on a phone or tablet could lead to many distractions that take away from one of the main reasons she enjoys books.

Joy Bolt, Dean of Libraries at the University of North Georgia also expressed that many people enjoy the experience of obtaining a physical copy of a book. “A lot of people just like browsing and looking, and many people just love the smell of books, so a lot of it is really just that experience.”

Bolt also spoke on the importance people place on having a tangible item. “It bothers me to purchase a digital book because I don’t feel like I own that book, so when I end up paying for one, it’s not the same as buying a physical copy.”

When spending real money most people want to feel like they gained a real thing, and words on a screen just do not satisfy that feeling for most book readers.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Vanguard

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of North Georgia. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Vanguard

Comments (0)

All Vanguard Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *