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E-Books and (not or!) Printed Books

June 24, 2010

I just came upon an interesting article over at Publishers Weekly looking at a new side of the e-book/printed book debate. The article, as others have done, compares the e-book to digital music (MP3s), the difference being that MP3s offer the flexibility of burning a track to a CD to play in your home, car, etc., whereas you can’t really burn a digital book onto paper. Alright, maybe you could print it, but by the time you go through all that paper, you may as well just go buy the hard copy!

What the PW article suggests is that, at least for books that would be desirable in both formats, publishers try bundling the e-book and printed book. The e-book goes on your preferred reader for that plane trip, while the printed version lives on your shelves for perusing at your leisure.

Maybe this seems a bit decadent, a little unnecessary. But as someone whose curiosity about these new e-readers is tempered by a love of full bookshelves and a hope that the future holds a place for brick-and-mortar independent bookstores, I’d be willing to give it a go. Mmmm…Graceling and the entire Harry Potter series at my fingertips AT ALL TIMES. How could this be a bad thing?


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