Physical books, e-books, audiobooks

Which do you prefer?

World Book Day, celebrated around the world on April 23 each year, champions the availability of books for everyone. This initiative focuses on books and promotes reading across different demographics. This worldwide event, which started in 1995, has evolved in that different genres of reading material are presented on different platforms.

In 2024, various platforms such as e-books and audiobooks existed alongside physical books. All three platforms aim to share ideas, knowledge, stories, and cultural information, but each provides a different experience for users. And each different experience attracts different users.

Sharing their preferences, these people talked about which platforms they prefer: paper books, e-books, and audio books, and why.

James SL Yong

James SL Yong, Baby Boomer, Semi-Retired
“I definitely prefer physical books, but sometimes I listen to audiobooks. Sometimes it’s nice to give your eyes a break and just listen. I’m especially drawn to audiobooks to read. But I’m not really interested in e-books unless I urgently need to read a new title and can’t tolerate the usual delays in ordering.

Jacqueline Boone

Jacqueline Boone, 65, stockbroker
“I definitely prefer physical books because I don’t like staring at a screen all the time. My job as a stockbroker requires me to look at a screen all the time, and that’s enough for me.”


Jessa, 26, MBA student
“I prefer physical books. It helps me retain information better. I can write whatever comes to mind while reading a book. When I actually see the words, my attention is more focused. You can always go back and find the parts you missed, especially if you get distracted.

victoria joan

Victoria Joan, 43, author
“I used to prefer only paper books. Having an actual copy in my hands, feeling the pages with my fingertips and smelling the paper was always such a pleasurable joy for a good read. But… I’ve recently started using e-books because my work and studies require me to read a lot. I carry the latest books with me everywhere I go, usually 3-4 books at a time. In some cases, you may not be able to carry all of these books with you.

Georgette Tan, 46, author and poet
“I used to be a big supporter of deadwood media, but physical books take up space, and anything that takes up space ends up collecting dust. There are many places where you can get e-books for cheap or even free without resorting to copyright infringement. I also found that some e-books are cheaper than the paper version.


Jamie, 33, psychologist
“I prefer e-books because I can carry a device with multiple books. I read everything from literary fiction to self-help books. I often swap two books at the same time. Paper books The difference between e-books and e-books is that you can search for a specific topic or section of the book you have read. You need to try it.”

Annabella Wie

Annabella Wee, 39, mother
“When I was an airline stewardess, I was obsessed with Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. I could finish a book in a day. I went from bookstore to bookstore to find the missing chronicle. At a loss, I searched online and found the PDF version! That’s when I realized that I didn’t have to spend so much money each week to get the book delivered to the store. One thing I know for sure is that at the time I would have rather owned that book. It’s like a sense of accomplishment.”

Arcilla Abby

Arcila Abbey, 32, Event Coordinator
“To be honest, I prefer physical books, the way the pages turn, the feel, the smell, the sounds. But on the practical side, e-books are what I’m hooked on right now. Practical, economical, fast (want a book? Just download it), saves physical space, and if you don’t like the book, how to dispose of it responsibly. You can just delete it without thinking too much.”

kelly kong

Kelly Kong, 36, mother
“I prefer audiobooks because I can listen to them until I fall asleep. As a mom, I can’t stay glued to a book when my kids are next to me. So I like to multitask while listening to stories. If I fell asleep, I had to go back and listen to it the next day to find the last place I remembered the story.”

stacey gregory

Stacey Gregory, 36, housewife, part-time project leader
“As someone who is clinically diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I almost always listen to audiobooks as white noise when I go to sleep, drowning out my inner voice when the sound gets too loud. , I still read physical books because there’s nothing like the smell of the paper, the feel of the pages, the creases in the corners.

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