The Rise of eBooks and Audiobooks: With the growth of technology, we are more attached to our devices than to people. This attachment is beneficial and yet not, for certain facets of our life. Similarly when it comes to the question – ‘paperbacks or eBooks’ or ‘audiobook or paperback’? The discussion is often debatable. And, in this article, we are going to look at the rise of eBooks and audiobooks and why.

Rise of eBooks

An eBook is short for an electronic book. The inventor of the extraordinary invention is not widely agreed upon and there are a few names – Roberto Busa, Angela Ruiz Robles, Douglas Engelbart and Andries van Dam, and Michael S. Hart. An eBook is a book publication available in digital form. It consists of text, image, or both and they are readable on a computer or any other electronic device. Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. consumer eBook publishing market is run by the Big Five – Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan. Some e-reader applications are Amazon Kindle, iBooks, Sony Reader, Kobo eReader, and Barnes & Noble Nook.

The Rise of eBooks and Audiobooks
The Rise of eBooks and Audiobooks

The primary reason for the growth of eBooks is the lower price and easy availability. It increased the comfort for readers. They can just search for all genres of books through titles and keywords. The electronic bookmarking aspect is brilliant. Moreover, readers can annotate the pages. I mean, what more could a reader ask for? An eBook is an easy and fascinating replacement for paperbacks and hard covers. The number of adult eBook readers in the US in 2014 was 28% and the percentage kept growing. In the 2000s there was a trend of eBooks and print sales online, where readers buy eBooks and paperbacks on websites using e-commerce systems. In 1998, U.S. libraries began to provide free eBooks to the public through their associated services and websites. By the 2010s, eBooks had begun to replace and overpower hardcovers in the overall publication figures in the United States.

The Benefits of eBooks

The Rise of eBooks and Audiobooks
The Rise of eBooks and Audiobooks

In today’s world where technology is ruling over people, it is no surprise that the way we used to read has also evolved. So, here are a few benefits of eBooks:

Convenience: Digital reading is convenient. You can easily carry a digital device with you and have thousands of books in one app. This is especially beneficial for people who travel a lot but is an avid book readers.

Affordability: One of the primary reasons behind the growth of eBooks is affordability. You can have unlimited access to over a million eBooks for a monthly fee which is always lower than a newly published book. This is an incredible deal for an avid reader. On the other hand, when it comes to paperbacks, it can be tough to find a good deal.

Customization: With the growing popularity of eBooks, there are a few things available on this eBook that will almost help you to replace paperbacks. You can change how text appears on your screen. You can change margins and line spacing, and even annotate pages. With the help of certain applications, you can also listen to your eBook.

Friendliness: You are perhaps aware of the growing significance of being eco-friendly. One of the ways to help the environment is by reducing the usage of paper. An eBook is a digital product and hence, does not require any paper usage. So, we can say it is much more environmentally friendly than a traditional paperback. The paper industry contributes to a lot of pollution and one surprising fact is that the average book has a much larger carbon footprint than an eBook.

Rise of Audiobooks

An audiobook readouts books and other work out loud for you. The spoken recordings thing became possible with Thomas Edison’s 1877 invention of the phonograph. And, Audio Publishers established the term “audiobook” in 1994. Edison created it so that it would speak to blind people. In 1931, the AFB or American Foundation for the Blind and Library Congress Books for the Adult Blind project created the “Talking Books Program” which intended to offer reading material for the veterans injured during the First World War and other visually impaired people. The first recording in 1932 was of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven and Helen Keller’s Midstream.

The Rise of eBooks and Audiobooks

The reason for the rise of audiobooks is technology and the spread of the internet in the 1990s. In the year 1997, Audible created the world’s first mass-market digital media player. Digital audiobooks not only overtook paperbacks but also allowed the listeners freedom from physical media such as CD-ROMs and cassettes. Audible.com was the first website, established in 1998, which allowed people to purchase audiobooks. In 2018, about 50,000 audiobooks were recorded with a sales growth of 20 percent each year. By 2019, audiobook sales were 1.2 billion dollars, which was 16% higher than in 2018.

The Benefits of Audiobooks

The Rise of eBooks and Audiobooks

Pandemic is certainly one of the reasons why people became more drawn towards audiobooks and the reviews are almost always positive, let’s see why:

More Time: One of the most vital reasons for the continuous growth of audiobooks is you get more time to yourself. Most people are juggling their professional and personal life, and find it impossible to fit a paperback into their routine and that’s when audiobook comes as a simple solution. You also read more than you would through a paperback. Moreover, according to some reports, audiobooks are good for mental health as well.

Less Screen Time: Almost every teenagers and adult spend over 8-9 hours looking at the digital screen. This can lead to severe problems such as long-term vision issues such as nearsightedness. Audiobook helps with reducing your screen timing and helps you rest your eyes.

Literacy: Readers with learning disabilities find audiobooks to be helpful for their reading ability and literacy skills.

Memory: Audiobooks helps you to remember the name of the characters, locations, and important events or conversations. And, this ability to retain information keeps growing with the number of audiobooks you listen to. Just like audiobooks, it also becomes better for you to remember information about other things in your life.

Also Read: Benefits of Collaborative Learning

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