The Smell of Printed Books: A Qualitative Comparison between Printed and Digital Formats

Ana Alejandra Fuentes Cuiñas 1 * , Vailati Pablo Augusto 2

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp. 214-225

OPEN ACCESS   1282 Views   1102 Downloads

Download Full Text (PDF)


The aim of this study was to understand the reading habits and preferences of digital and printed books. A qualitative research was carried out, which analyzed eighty interviews involving people from four different age segments. Deepening guidelines were used to perform the interviews, and a content analysis was conducted. Dissimilarities were found regarding age segments: younger respondents agreed that the computer is an element used to study, while the main functionality of cell phones is communication. They usually read in both formats but prefer traditional support when reading for pleasure. Older respondents take pleasure in involving their senses with reading: touching and smelling their printed books. These results reinforce previous founds concerning the coexistence and complementarity of the formats.

Keywords: E-books, printed books, reading habits, cell phones, content analysis.