I recently started offering my books as eBooks. This decision was motivated by the fact that for many people eBooks are now the primary choice when it comes to books. While I personally prefer physical, printed books, there are a number of advantages to eBooks:
– eBooks do not take any physical space. 100 eBooks on your computer take no physical space. they only occupy disk space and not that much of it either. The same number of books in a library will fill a shelf or two.
– eBooks do not consume trees. While more and more books are now printed on recycled paper, paper, in any form, involves cutting down trees at some point.
– eBooks can be read on a variety of devices. Long gone are the days when eBooks could only be read on a desktop of laptop computer. Today cell phones, iPads and a growing number of tablets and eReaders let you read eBooks anywhere.
– you can carry your entire eBook library with you anywhere. No need to make a selection. Just take everything and make a selection later on.
– eBooks are less expensive than physical books. In a challenged economy this is definitely an advantage. While we do need to continue learning, we can do so at a lower cost.
Good things can be said about physical books too. As I said, I personally prefer physical books. For one, while they cost more, you don’t have to buy and upgrade an electronic device to read them and you can read them without being concerned that the batteries will go dead. While they are heavier, you can write in the margins, notch pages and insert things between pages. While these practices have digital equivalents, they just don’t feel quite the same to me. While they take more space, they are also decorative. There is an undeniable pleasure in owning a physical copy and in having a physical library. Finally, physical books are collectible. While no investment can be guaranteed 100%, rare, signed and limited edition books do appreciate in value over time.
In the end which of the two you prefer is a personal decision. At least now you can have one or the other, or both.
If you haven’t yet you can order eBook versions of my three books at this link:
PS- If you find advantages to eBooks or physical books not mentioned in this essay, post a comment.