In Margaret Drabble’s ‘On the Joy of ebooks’, she opens with the fact that some people are taken aback by the fact that she prefers ebook readers over traditional books. At first I was also surprised at this fact as I’d expect the nostalgia and sentimentality that she even describes herself to keep her coming back to her favourite paperback books and I expected the younger audience to be drawn more to ebooks.
The more I read however, the more I realised that she’s already lived through a time of struggling to fit your books into a bag and lug it around while travelling and she seems to understand and is more grateful for the invention of the ebook. The younger generation on the other hand haven’t had as much of an exposure to the paperback era of having to carry around an arsenal of your favourite books only to have it weight you down, clearly not as much as Drabble at least. I think that a lot of the younger generation are reading physical books over ebooks because they want to have that paperback era for themselves, feeling as though they may have missed out on something that was so prevalent before their time.
This is shown in the second article; “A survey carried out for the Bookseller Children’s Conference in 2015 claims that 16-24 year olds (the same demographic that BBC Three went online to reach, remember) prefer physical books to digital books, with 64% saying print books were their favourite and 20% saying they didn’t mind.”
In my opinion, the argument that ebooks are more practical and space efficient is fair however there is a clear bias towards books in most scenarios as, despite this argument, the article says ‘the sale of physical books is on the up and the sale of digital books is falling.’
The only way this can be the case is not through practicality but instead the sentimentality of what the younger generation haven’t experienced and the almost defiance of ebooks to experience it.
Any thoughts on this?