In a world overwhelmed by technology, voracious readers still love books.

“I prefer a physical book, with its paper pages, over an e-book reader or reading on a computer screen,” said Mauro Domínguez Aguirre, a retiree in Veracruz, Mexico. “I like to sit with a cup of coffee and immerse completely in my reading. Imagine worlds to travel and adventures to live, all inside the comfort of my house. I even use it as a way to fall asleep. I prefer physical books over anything else.”

The debate over which one is better — physical or digital book — remains, especially when reading for pleasure. People of all ages can enjoy reading, even teenagers welded to their cell phones. Sometimes, preferences are based on demographics.

Many readers enjoy a printed book during a moment of relaxation. (Leohoho/Unsplash)

“I usually buy digital books when I want to read at the moment, but I also tend to buy physical copies to read at my leisure and peacefully,” said Gloria del Carmén León Solano, a teacher at the Estefania Castañeda kindergarten from the municipality of Úrsulo Galván, Veracruz.

However, having a relaxed reading is a powerful reason to prefer physical copies over digital ones.

“I prefer physical books because I feel it has my full attention, something that I do not get from reading them on my iPad or my laptop. On the one hand, I have several applications and reading tools. On the other, I enjoy locking myself in my bedroom and reading without any regard for the outside world,” said León Solano.

Mexico, however, is not a country that offers reading encouragement to its citizenship.

A report from the National Institute of Geography and Statistics pointed out that, on average, Mexicans only read 3.3 books a year.

More important than the debate between printed or digital media, it is concerning that Mexico does not produce many avid readers. (Sincerely Media/Unsplash)

Many people prefer physical books, as they are easy to share with friends. Handing out books from one person to another can generate goodwill and memories. Other readers enjoy the smell of paper and ink.

Newer generations tend to prefer digital books via their tablets, laptops, or desktop computers. The act of reading continues to exist, but in a newer, modern format. That could lead to a decrease in the number of books printed in the future.

However, whether the books are physical or digital, it does not change reality: Mexicans are not big readers. For this reason, educators consider it essential to develop a reading habit, regardless of the media, starting at an early age. The joy of reading can last a lifetime. And it’s a way to help cope with stress or enjoy new subjects.

(Translated and edited by Mario Vázquez; edited by Fern Siegel)

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