Ebook vs Paperback is a controversial topic amongst book lovers, with many having strong opinions. But if, like us, you struggle to choose between the two everytime it comes to picking up a new read, you’ve come to the right place.
A question we often get asked is ‘are books bad for the environment?’ Well this is a complex question with lots of things to consider. The book industry as a whole has a pretty large carbon footprint, with both paper books and their ebook equivalents having an environmental impact. While large-scale changes could still be made to make the book industry greener, for folks like you and me, it’s out of our hands. It's not like we’ll be giving up reading books any time soon - life would hardly be worth living!
But something we can control is our consumption, which brings us to the big ebook vs paper book debate. How can we keep reading books by the dozen AND do our bit for the planet?
Paper books contribute to deforestation which plays a huge part in global warming, plus there's the process of turning wood into paper, chemical treatment, printing words and images and then the distribution of the finished books to its readers, all of which affects climate change in a big way.
Ebooks on the other hand don’t require any paper, but they’re often read on an e-reader. The manufacturing of the e-reader, distribution to its owner, the electricity needed to charge it up and the disposal of it at the end of its life are all factors which increase an ebook’s carbon footprint.
With all this considered, an ebook is the most eco-friendly option if you tend to read a lot of books. But environmental factors aren’t the only thing to be considered when choosing which format to read in. Here’s a handy list of all the pros and cons of an ebook vs paperback book to help…
If it were a popularity contest, we’re sure that physical paper books would win hands down! Most book lovers will agree that you just can’t beat a proper book, for the following reasons…
The most eco-friendly option for reading a book depends what kind of reader you are. If you’re an occasional reader (reading less than 5 books a year) then picking up second hand books or visiting your local library is a good option for you. If you’re more of a regular reader (reading more than 5 books a year) and you like to buy new, then an e-reader is the best option.
However, if you’re a regular reader that loves paper and hardback books, you can still make eco-friendly choices when it comes to the books you buy. The more we use an object, the more we minimize its carbon footprint, so picking up second hand books and recycling the books you have is a great way to read paperback books and still be doing your bit for the environment.
It’s clear that print is here to stay, with paper books still out selling ebooks 4-1. So if you’re team paperback all the way, how can you recycle your books to minimize your carbon footprint? Here at Webuybooks, we’ll take your old books in exchange for cash! We’ll then find them a new home, or recycle them for you - meaning no book will go to waste.
Find out more on our book buying process here.