For the first time in my life, I passed over buying a book that grabbed by attention because…
…it wasn’t offered in digital format.
If you had asked me a couple of years ago what I thought about ebooks, I would have given you an answer similar to Audrey Niffenegger (the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife — which is NOT available in ebook format!):
“E-books have certain advantages (they are searchable) and disadvantages (they are not beautiful objects in themselves and don’t display images very well). But I have spent my life working with books as an art form and I am devoted to physical books. […] I don’t know when or if my books will become e-books. Writing me hostile e-mail about this will not hasten my desire.”
My whole life, I have loved real, paper books (and reading them), but paper books are dinosaurs, people, and today I realized that I wasn’t a bit sad. I love to read on my iPad (and my very portable, always-with-me iPhone. Just FYI: I got addicted to ebooks on a kindle, but once the iPad came out, the kindle became clunky and painful to use — not to mention nearly impossible to read at night.) I still love books — except now they’re all digital.
So, I give you my:
Top 10 List of Why eBooks are Better than Dead-Tree Books
1. You can find, download, and begin reading an ebook in under a minute.
2. You can take a (nearly) infinite number of books with you on vacation (and not have to worry about running out.)
3. eBooks don’t kill trees, waste gas on shipping , or waste time/energy/money storing, publishing or returning them.
4. eBooks allow me to read a sample of the book and easily buy the book (if I like it). I don’t have to judge a book by its cover any more!
5. eBooks can be read at night in the dark. (I use an iPad and an iPhone.)
6. eBooks are readable even when your eyes are tired and the font is too small (I can make the font bigger! No need to go in search of glasses!)
7. eBooks are portable: they fit in my purse, the pocket of my jeans, the car cup-holder, my tennis bag, and anywhere I take my iPhone.
8. My eBooks is always with me: waiting at the dentist for my son to have his teeth cleaned, stuck at the airport when the plane is delayed due to fog in San Francisco, or parked in traffic (I can even use voice to text!), I always have my books with me.
9. I can read multiple books at a time (a couple for work, one for writing tips, one for enjoyment, and one that my sons are reading) and not have to rent a llama to carry them all around.
10. The best reason: ebooks make it easy for me to read lots and lots of books, and once the publishers get their act together (or get put out of business?), the price of ebooks will be a lot less than the price of dead-tree books (See #3 above.) Anyone with a brain can see that ebooks are cheaper to produce (not write!) than printed books, and we’re willing to pay the author to write more books, but we’re not willing to pay the publishers to destroy books that didn’t sell.
It’s good that The Time Traveler’s Wife came out a few years ago, because I really love that book, and if it had come out today, I probably would never have read it.