According to Subah Tarannum, a final year student of Dhaka University and a bookworm, the physical entity of a book is very important for reading.
Without touching the hardcover and smelling the fragrance of the pages she simply cannot concentrate on reading. So books in the form of PDFs are a big no for her.
"How can you read something if you cannot touch it?" she said.
The invention of e-books may have brought a big revolution, but the place paperbacks have in readers' hearts will always remain unmatched.
Comfort and satisfaction
Undoubtedly paperbacks give more vision, comfort and reading satisfaction than e-books.
Staring at an LED screen can be tiring for the eyes and the brain. Furthermore, it can disrupt sleep patterns.
The texture, thickness, and weight of a printed book give a whole different satisfaction to readers which PDFs fail to give.
Develop a library culture
Paperbacks are the reason why libraries exist. Libraries are a big part of history and civilization. Books encourage people to visit libraries where you can fall in love with solitude in a productive way.
Mahiya Tabassum, a third year student of Economics, shared with us, "I am always in support of paperbacks. Physical books develop a library culture among readers. Libraries are my happy place. I believe visiting libraries gives me peace and is associated with my mental well-being. Another reason why paperbacks are better is because they motivate writers to write. Literature is an art but the author needs to earn his living."
Better reading comprehension
PDFs are comparatively harder to absorb and paperbacks enable deeper reading comprehension.
People tend to remember better about the timeline if the book is a paperback.
Also they seem to understand the characters better if read from paperbacks.
Research was done by a group of scholars of Stavanger University in Norway to prove it.
The researchers asked 25 adults to read a 28-page story on a Kindle and another 25 to read the story on paperbacks.
They then asked the readers to put 14 events from the story in chronological order.
Those who read the story on a Kindle performed worse on the chronology test than the book readers, though they performed about the same as print readers in other tests.
A sentimental connection
In the book 'Words onscreen: The fate of reading in a digital world', Naomi Baron raises a legitimate question, "I wonder if anyone has ever cried reading an e-book?"
Paperback enables emotional connectivity with the reader; it boosts retention well.
Also, when you read a book, sometimes you bookmark pages, write notes or make paper folds and personalise it in your own ways.
All of these actions make memories with that particular book which develop a person-object relationship.
Artefacts and collections
Books are artefacts, tangible human creations. They are a part of archaeology, history and culture.
E-books are not precious expensive artifacts of bygone civilisations. Neither can they be displayed in museums, nor can they be collected and decorated on shelves.
PDFs can never give you the pleasure of having a first edition book, a book signed by the author.
"If you are a true bibliophile, paperback is your first choice and there is no going back", said Redwan Islam Orittro, co-founder of Bookstagram BD and a book blogger.
You can never actually own an e-book. Hence the satisfaction of owning, borrowing, lending or gifting a book can only be earned through physical books.
You can pass on the books you have read, and no longer need, to other readers. You can also donate them to charities.
Although most physical stores all around the world are closed due to pandemic, worldwide, book sales have significantly increased.
People are turning to paperbacks for sustenance, information, and joy during this tough time.
According to a BBC report, in March 2020, there was a 66% lift in sales of children's non-fiction books in the US where as in the UK, fiction sales climbed by a third and sales of children's educational books went up 234%.
Some people believe that the world might go paperless at a certain point of time by the dominance of e-books.
A great number of trees are being cut down every day to produce papers which is a big threat to the environment.
Even then paperbacks are being printed and will keep being printed due to the strong aesthetic and sentimental value they hold.
Even though e-books are cheaper (in many cases, free), more convenient to carry and store, people still prefer to buy physical books with more money, carry the extra weight in their bags, and develop allergies willingly from the dust that settles on them.
It may be safe to say that the appeal of paperbacks will forever remain.
Scientific experiments on paperback vs pdf
1. According to The New York Times, e-book sales have been falling in 2015. Print definitely isn't dead. In fact, according to some research, it may actually be a better choice for some readers.
2. Several small studies suggest that reading on paper instead of an electronic screen is better for memory retention and focus. The Guardian reported on an experiment from Norway where people were given a short story to read either on a Kindle or in a paperback book; when they were quizzed later, those who read the paperback were more likely to remember plot points in the right order.
3.Paper suits readers with sleep problems and eye strain. A 2014 study published in the journal PNAS found that reading an e-book before bedtime decreased the production of melatonin, a hormone that preps the body for sleep. A 2014 Harvard study found that people who used e-readers with LED screens at night slept worse and were more tired the next day.
4.Considering that many jobs require you to stare at a computer screen all day, it's wise to give your eyes a break whenever you can. One survey of 429 university students revealed that nearly half had complained of strained eyes after reading digitally.
5. One recent study of college students in the U.S., Slovakia, Japan, and Germany showed that 92 percent of participants preferred actual books that they can hold and touch and leaf through whenever they please.