Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ebooks vs Printed Books Part 1

On my last post I asked for feedback on what motivates people towards ebooks or printed books. I learned a lot from the numerous responses received here and on the different social networks I participate in. I’ve summarized below some of the motivations towards ebooks.

Here's why some people might choose an ebook over a printed book:

- Ebooks save space and don’t require shelf space
- Ebooks are quickly and easily accessible
- Ebooks have the potential to stay in print longer
- Ebooks can be less expensive than print books.
- You can borrow some ebooks from the library with some ebook readers
- Some ebook readers are smaller than some printed books making them easier to carry
- You can store hundreds of ebooks on a single reader, making it easier to bring a large number of books with you
- Ebooks are more environmentally friendly
- You can increase the font size of ebooks making them easier to read with some readers
- Music, audio books, and games can be used on some ebook readers
- Ebooks are easier to read on a crowded commute than print books
- It’s easy to mark your place on ebooks
- Ebooks are more convenient
- Ebook readers have built in dictionaries that make it easy to look up unknown words.
- School textbooks in ebook format would eliminate the need for students to heft so many books in their backpacks
- Ebooks makes it easier to bring more books with you when traveling
- For some people, some ebook readers are less tiring on the eyes than reading printed books
- Easier on the hand, arm, and shoulder muscles to hold than a printed book.
- In other countries (or even rural areas), ebooks in your native language can be more accessible than printed books in your native language
- Using an ebook reader can make it easier to multi-task, such as checking e-mail, making notes, looking up information, and doing research.
- Some ebook readers are easier to read in the dark
- Ebooks are easier to read while lying on your back in bed
- Ebooks are cool!

In my upcoming blogs, I’ll summarize the motivations for printed books, as well as the motivations against ebooks and printed books.


  1. Thanks Ken,
    You summed it up perfectly!

  2. i believe one terrific reason to choose ebooks over written books is going green. can you imagine how many trees we are saving? i know a lot of folks are worried about the amount of jobs that may be lost with converting to ebook format. however, new jobs will be converted with converting to ebook format. the new jobs will be different but there will be new jobs. i suppose that makes two great things!

  3. That's quite a long list of reasons to choose an ebook over a printbook. But still, there is this irrational but enormously important factor that ebooks don't have any kind of emotional appeal. I detailed my point of view at the blog of after Amazon released figures about eBook sales, which were less impressive than they sounded at first. I'm already quite curious about your reasons pro print books, so I'll check back for sure.

  4. Great article. Thanks for posting. We are creating ebook picture book apps for the iphone and ipad. I think there is room for both.

  5. Interesting list. Some good reasons to like ebooks, but some clunkers, too. Looking forward to the next posts on this.

  6. Great list, including some I hadn't thought of. My dad, who travels a lot, loves his reader, because its easy on his eyes and is lightweight. My mom prefers reading books, and says that will never change. I like both