Four Reasons Why Books Are Better Than Ebooks

This entry was posted by on Thursday, 7 November, 2013 at

Author: Emilian Felecan

 

 

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I have a Kindle and have read tens of books on it but a physical book, the type of book that you can hold in your hand and flip pages through will never go away. Here’s why:

Feel

The way the paper feels, the cover art, the pages, the layout and the back cover are extremely important to the overall feel of the book. On top of that you have that new book smell that just makes you want to start reading! There is also the feeling that comes with having a large library of books sitting on the shelf.

Ownership

Once you buy the book, it is yours forever. You can loan it, you can burn it, you can use it as a paper weight, you can chop it, or you can sell it and get some money back. It is simple to do and there is no need to worry about digital rights management.

Long shelf life

Paper books have a ridiculously long shelf life if properly cared for. Store them in a dry, cool place and books should last for decades. You might even leave some for your children as an inheritance!

Cost

You can pick up used books for pennies on the dollar. Sure they might have some scratches, some writings on the margin, or bent corners but a good bargain is a good bargain!

I am a big proponent of having digital books in addition to, and not instead of physical books. It is hard to find information in physical books (there is no search box!) while ebooks make this process a lot easier. That is where part of the problem comes in. Ebooks need to be in a certain format in order to be searchable, such as PDF. The fast way in which technology is evolving means that ten years from now you might not be able to open a PDF file that was created today (who knows even if PDF will be around ten years from now). It also means that you have no idea what type of device these ebooks will be read on ten or twenty years in advance. There is just no way to keep that data in a “universal” digital format that will last for many decades.

In terms of loaning digital books you will always be at the mercy of the content provider you bought the ebook from. If they ever decide to stop loaning ebooks, or modify the terms then you have absolutely no recourse. It is their marketplace and they dictate the rules. You have absolutely no ownership over that content. It is also impossible to resell an ebook and recoup some of the costs.

Of course, digital books also lack the tactile feel of regular books. At best you might be reading them on a Kindle or a Nook, or some sort of other ebook reader. However, a lot of ebooks are read directly on laptops or tablets which makes for a subpar reading experience. It also completely takes away any sort of “feel” from reading the book and replaces that with the feel of the device that you are using to read the ebook.

What ebooks lack in feel, they certainly make up for in terms of price. Ebooks are overpriced considering that it barely costs anything to distribute or make another copy available. Sure, from time to time you might be able to find a few 99 cent ebooks (or even some free books for that matter), but overall the price is considerably higher than used paper books. Especially when you consider that there is no resale value for digital books.

No matter how advanced ebook readers get they will never replace the regular, old fashioned book.

Published: Sept. 21, 2012

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P.S.   Recent , Emilian si-a serbat in Romania  ziua de nastere. Reproducerea articolului  de mai sus reprezinta micul meu dar cu aceasta ocazie ,  atragand atentia cititorilor  ( multi, putini ) ca fiul meu practica aceeasi logica generoasa ” both / and “ ( ne-exclusiva ), ca si tatal sau. La Multi Ani, Son !


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