(In which I pontificate, and generally try to sound like I know what I’m talking about)

Part 1: The Problem with eBooks

I just love books. I don’t think anything is ever going to replace the sheer joy of reading an actual, physical book. One you can touch and smell and feel.

That said, I think eBooks are great as well. I just don’t think that any current eBook solutions are good enough though. All the major players use a DRM model; and I’m never going to pay for a book that I may only be allowed to use for a few years, that may become obsolete and un-readable in a few short years, that can’t be opened on Linux, that I can’t take a backup of.

eBooks should be (much) cheaper than physical books. Right now, I see that the mass-market paperback of the “Name of the Wind” sells for 7.99$ on Amazon, while the Kindle edition is 7.19$. eBooks don’t have to be printed, packaged, or shipped. I would think that would lead them to offered at a substantial discount.

Part 2: Compelling use cases for eBooks

Here are some reasons I want to buy eBooks for:

  1. To support an author.

    If I feel like an author I’ve read is under-rated and deserves to be more successful, I may just buy an eBook version of a book I already have.

  2. Royalties

    If eBooks are the same price as a physical book, but if I know that the author gets a larger royalty cut out of me buying an eBook compared to a physical book, I’d sometimes prefer the eBook version.

  3. Discovery

    I am already running out of space to put all of my books. I’ve double-shelved books on my bookshelf (a practice which I abhor, but reality must be faced), and there still isn’t any place left for any new books.

    eBooks are convenient as they don’t take up any space: it seems like a good idea to get eBook versions of books I’m not sure about and read them. For instance, I may prefer getting the eBook of the first book of a new fantasy series, to see if it worth reading any further. And this leads me to my next idea…

  4. Discounts

    Publishers could offer to sell the physical copy at a discount to someone who already has purchased the eBook. Or even offer discounted prices on eBooks if you have the physical book.

    To take my last example a little further, I could get an eBook version of the first book of a new series, decide that I like it, and then decide to get physical copies of the entire series. I wouldn’t like having to pay full-price on both purchases though.