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Why We Love Real Books

Books vs. eBooks

If you read our article about PaperBackSwap.com, then you might have noticed that we are fond of real books.  You might be scratching your head, wondering what we mean by “real books.”  There is a trend occurring with everything now being in a computer file format.  Music, movies, and yes, books.  Amazon rolled out their Kindle product, Barnes & Noble presented Que and Nook, and Apple created the iPad.

We are not entirely critical of digital books, more commonly called eBooks.  We believe that there are a number of advantages such as portability for college students, convenience, and in some instances a lower price on the book.  Those are definitely some great advantages, but after that things start to look a bit more grim.  Besides the nostalgia of holding a physical book, there are privacy concerns, and once you purchase the book you own it.  What are we rambling about here?  In order to understand what we are talking about, you should first understand why Amazon ever came to be.

Amazon began with the idea of creating a marketplace that not only had everything, it was also envisioned that it could make product suggestions based on what you’ve already purchased.  Amazon was born from this idea and it has been amazing.  There is no question that Amazon has superb logic behind its design and it really is revolutionary.  Now, when you have access to a persons entire library, you can really begin to get a good idea of who that person is.

Ever see that advertising scene in “Minority Report?”

We are not trying to demonize Amazon here, we don’t believe that Amazon has any ill-intentions, but when you give so much information about yourself, there are a lot of companies out there willing to pay large sums of money for it.  Not to say Amazon would succumb to that kind of temptation, but we would prefer to avoid someone having such an in-depth perspective of who we are, and potentially selling it to advertisers.

Cold, Hard, …Books?

Privacy aside, we also really enjoy literally owning our books.  When we purchase a book we generally want to keep it, and most would agree that you should have the option.  Amazon however had an instance where they had to recall some of the books they sold.  So, without permission, all people lost their copies of George Orwell books.  They did receive full refund, but that just demonstrates who runs your library, when your books are stored on a digital device.  This is not to disparage Amazon or the Kindle, as they were simply trying to honor copyright law, but it just goes to show what can happen given the circumstances.

While real books may cost more in some instances, like new best-sellers, the eBooks may be tempting, but you lose the option of buying books on the second-hand market at sharply discounted prices.  We believe the eBooks will become a mainstay with college students, but for us, we’ll still need the printing press in the equation.

What About You?

  • Do you have a preference?
  • Do you notice large price differences?
  • Are these eBook readers worth the investment?
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