1. Shorter is better. I don’t like reading long nonfiction books on my Kindle. It’s too easy to lose track of where I am if I go a week or two without reading. It’s more cumbersome to go back and “flip through” the last fifty pages of what I read to refresh my memory. My favorite Kindle reads have been shorter books that can be read in a few sittings. The books published by Seth Godin’s Domino Project are the perfect length for ebook readers. This doesn’t apply to fiction. I’ve read some long, dense novels on kindle with no trouble.
2. Footnotes don’t work well in ebooks. I chose to buy the hard copy of Bill Simmons’ The Book of Basketball because his footnotes alone are worth the price of the book. I didn’t want to mess with them on my Kindle even though I would have preferred to buy and read the Kindle version.
3. The ability to underline and compile all my highlights into a single document after reading a Kindle ebook is almost enough to override the previous 2 points. eBook readers make note taking a breeze.
4. I will not pay for an ebook the same price (or more) that I would have to pay for the print version. This makes no sense to me. I know publishers are keeping the price of ebooks at or near the price of the print versions in an effort to protect (prop up?) the print side of their industry. It pretty much guarantees that I’ll go check out a hard copy from the library rather than buying either version from a short-sighted publisher.
5. I will not pay more than 7.99 for an ebook. I don’t think twice about paying 4.99 or less.
6. I’m suspicious of the quality of an ebook priced at 99 cents unless it is a short-story or a twenty-four hour sale. (Have you read my short story yet? You can get it here for 99 cents.)
7. I will download any free ebook that looks remotely interesting to me. But that doesn’t mean I’ll read it. My Kindle is full of free books that I’ve downloaded and never opened. It’s easy to give away an ebook. It’s much harder to get someone to read it.
8. I’ve bought and collected my share of books, but I have no romantic feelings about books themselves. People who wax eloquent about how much they enjoy the look, feel, and smell of a good book in their hands need to watch more romantic comedies with members of the opposite sex. I love to read and learn, more than I love books. eBooks help me do more of what I love in a more convenient, and increasingly cost efficient, way. I don’t lament the loss of books. I lament that I don’t have enough time to read every book that interests me, even though I can store them all on my Kindle.
What are your thoughts about ebooks?