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ΑρχικήEnglish EditionThe "practical" advantages of paper 

The “practical” advantages of paper 

By Carmen Chang,

Some studies reflect a preference for print format over digital. Among the practical advantages of reading on paper, we find that it facilitates more memorization and visual comprehension. In addition, viewing the subject in a paper book will tire the eyes less and will be faster than on screen.
Many reasons seem to tip the balance in favor of digital: e-books are less heavy and uncomfortable, easier to carry, and more environmentally friendly in terms of paper spending. Among the arguments, we have already heard that it is time to abandon the obsolete technology of the fifteenth century to give way to that of the twenty-first century. But science offers a very different point of view. According to numerous studies conducted by experts, reading physical books can improve memory, and concentration and even make it physically more attractive, among other benefits. 

According to Claire Bélisle, Philippe Bootz, Raja Fenniche et al. (2011) 1: “Reading is associated with paper books, their handling, their possession, the smell of certain books, their location, the noise of paper when turning pages. Reading is part of a set of physical experiences with the pleasure of it”. For many readers, looking at a screen will never replace the pleasure of reading on paper, turning pages at will, or putting an article aside for later. For others finally, they propose that if you have money to buy a book, buy it because it is much more pleasant to read in the printed form. 

Image source: webutopian.com

After a thorough and analytical study, Julián Marquina (2019) 2 concluded that the printed book has 10 advantages: 

  1. Possession and collecting. We can have a large personal library, which can show our friends and acquaintances… in addition to being a popular decorative item. Printed books also serve as medals, as proof of success.
  2. Sustainability. Paper books can last for decades and centuries, as has already been demonstrated. This is the most reliable way to print and store texts.
  3. The operation is simple. The operation of paper books is very simple: just open them and start reading. In addition, it is easy to go back to the previous pages or passages of the book … proofreading is simpler.
  4. The power of nostalgia. Book fetishism exists … its smell again, its touch, its visual beauty … The book on paper put several supporters in his pocket who do not want to leave it aside.
  5. They have their own life. Each book can remind us of a particular moment, we feel accompanied in our memories … Not to mention its annotations in the margins, the falsehoods on the pages, its bookmarks, or other things that we can find inside them to keep the page where we stopped, such as letters, photographs, calendars, train tickets…
  6. Better memorization. It has been shown that reading on paper leads to better memorization and understanding of the text.
  7. A book is always a good gift. Offering books is always well regarded, and not only for its theme but also because it is a physical object that can be enjoyed for idleness and knowledge.
  8. The loan to a friend. We can lend a paper book to a friend, relative, neighbor, classmate, or work. In addition, there are an infinite number of books on paper and there is no lack of choice in libraries.
  9. He will not leave us behind. A book on paper will not leave us because the battery is discharged, or because its electronic format is not recognized, or by updating software.
  10. The pleasure of discovering. Go to a bookstore or library to stroll through the shelves of books on paper and discover new readings or simply to watch and browse particular titles.

  • Claire Bélisle, Philippe Bootz, Raja Fenniche et alii., Lire dans un monde numérique, état de l’art, Villeurbanne, Papiers sous la direction de Claire Roche-Moigne, Presses de l’ENSSIB, Presses de l’ENSSIB, 2011. p. 141. 
  • Julián Marquina, 10 beneficios del libro en papel… y otros 10 del libro electrónico, BiblioApei, 2019. Available here
  • J., & J. (2023, September 8). 10 beneficios del libro en papel. . . y otros 10 del libro electrónico. Julián Marquina | Bibliotecas, Libros Y Tecnología. Available here



Carmen Chang
Carmen Chang
Passionate about education and teaching, she was able to acquire skills through her experiences in many countries of diverse cultures. Teaching assistant at CentraleSupélec, Paris Saclay University, France. She is a Peruvian woman who always wanted to be teacher. Over the course of her life, she has discovered different cultures and has become passionate about several languages. She speaks and writes fluently Spanish, English and French. In parallel she has a project to launch a Spanish blog for teachers in which she will discuss the design of training programs, learning management, curriculum development and facilitation in training.