Is It Greener to Read Books or E-media?

There are different ways to compare the environmental impact between the two. 

  • Just interested in carbon? New Scientist says, “E-readers are slightly better than paper books, as long as you use them many times.”
  • What about the lifecycle? The Commercial Waste Trade Publication says it depends on how much you read.

What we can say for sure is that all kinds of reading count and, as Dr. Seuss says, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

You can check out New Scientist online or in-person from our magazine shelves, and get the full Dr. Seuss context in I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! as an e-book or hard copy. Commercial Waste, an excellent trade publication, is freely available online.

To find other e-media, include the words “ebooks” or “audiobooks” or "streaming" in your search and our website’s smart search will limit your results to that format. Similarly, if you just want the hard copies, add the word “books” or “DVDs” and your results will include only physical copies.

Happy reading, and happy Earth Day!