Digital Detox: Rediscovering the Joy of Physical Books in the Digital Age

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As we reported last month, Gen Z loves paper books. Today, the printed word is having a little bit of a renaissance thanks to online interest and viral recommendations – not least because of #BookTok. We take a look at how everyone can embrace the calming touch of paper in a digital era.


Reading printed books is much better for us than reading on an e-reader. Studies have shown that reading from paper helps us to retain information much better. Plus, it helps us to develop important skills for creativity and dealing with complex ideas.

Many of us may look back fondly on reading as children. It offered us inspiration, tranquillity and new ways of thinking about the world. As we grow older, we too often find ourselves “putting away our childish things”. For many of us, this can include falling out of love with reading – or simply not making enough time in the day for ourselves to read and remember why we love to read.


Rediscovering the joy of physical books in a digital age

If you’d like to reconnect with the joy of reading, there are many ways you can get started.

Looking online is a great place to find inspiration. The #BookTok trend is huge on TikTok and you can find recommendations for all types of genres, languages and authors.

The best analog place to start must always be your local library. Libraries are innovating to pull people through their doors. You’ll find all sorts of events and online activities running in parallel to the book loan services that are their staple. Your local library is also a great place in which to find a quiet place to read. Make the most of it!

Local bookshops have been struggling to compete with the giant Internet retailers – but there is a fightback underway. Many authors offer bookshop-only special editions and signed copies to support these important community resources on your high street. Show your support by purchasing your printed books from your local high-street bookshop.

The great thing about visiting your local bookshop is that there will always be someone on hand to offer a book recommendation – and perhaps you’ll even find a cozy corner in which to read!

If you can’t make it to your local high street, you can still support your local bookshop online. The ‍ website was founded on the belief that local bookstores are essential community hubs that foster culture, curiosity, and a love of reading – and it’s committed to helping them thrive. Every purchase on the site financially supports independent bookstores. So far, more than $28 million has been raised for local bookstores.


Make time to read

Having bought or borrowed your printed books, you’ll need to find a cozy spot and make some time in your day to devote to reading.

When we think about how much time we spend looking at screens each day, most of us should find it easy to redirect some of that time to a physical book. It will be much kinder to our eyes as well!

Perhaps you can even create yourself a cozy reading nook at home to further encourage your reading habit.

Or take a leaf out of Sharalee Howard’s book and spread your love of reading around your neighbourhood – by creating a little library through which books can be shared and swapped.


What next?

Find more insights and ideas about the written word on our blog: