Let’s start by stating a fact: Some people love reading physical books, some people love eBooks, most people hate reading on a computer, quite a few love reading on a tablet.
I remember ten years ago reading a 600 page book on the computer, and it was a pain. But with the current revolution of iPads, Kindles, and Android tablets, more and more people are flocking towards digital book stores instead of real ones.
Some of my best friends are quite disturbed by this tendency. They argue that the smell of opening a new book, the feeling of turning a page, the texture of each sheet of paper, and the ease of grabbing (and tossing) a book, leaves a much nicer feeling than holding a device that you feel more “attached to” (e.g. you can’t just toss an iPad) while reading.
However, whilst I can’t say I’m a bookie, I have read my fair share or physical books. But lately I find it much more enjoyable to read on an iPad (for example) instead of an actual book. Why? Easy: Digital bookmarks, highlighting, notes, having all my books in one place, requiring just one (or two) taps on a screen to start reading where I left off.
I recently finished reading ‘STEVE JOBS’ by Walter Isaacson (great book by the way), and I read it on an iPad. What I really liked about the experience was that I could highlight sections I considered important, and I could share quotes on Twitter and Facebook right from the app. So when I was writing a Powerpoint presentation the other day, I remembered something I read in the book, so I just went straight to “notes”, and copied the text I needed into my presentation.
So, I guess it all comes down to one question: Do you read just for reading? I know I don’t. When I read I like to make notes and highlight interesting things. Somehow highlighting an actual book doesn’t seem right. I remember that I once had a book with over 30 bookmarks. It just seems much easier to use an eBook reader nowadays.
So, in my opinion, the inevitable will come to happen: eBooks will eventually prevail. And as much as I like the smell of opening a new book and flicking through the pages, ease of use always dominates. There are so many books out there, and those books won’t disappear, but eventually, all new books will be released only in eBook formats.