One of the best things about digital books is that you can get a “sample” of the book sent to your device. That way, you can take a look at the book and decide you like it before you buy. Most of us, when we go to the library or the bookstore, might read the first chapter or flip through the book to get a sense of whether or not it interests us. I know that I can lose hours that way.
When digital books came out, that was one of my major complaints about it. Almost any book sounds great from the blurb, but it’s impossible to get a true sense of whether or not it draws you in.
The idea for this post came to mind when I saw that James Patterson’s newest book is out, and they’re giving away the first 17 chapters. 17 chapters! They’re pretty sure it’s a good book, because by then, you’ll either be sucked in… or you won’t. Writers should have to stand on the merit of their work.
I’ll never switch over completely to digital books. I love print books way too much. There are some positives about digital books. I know one person whose switched to digital because she ran out of bookshelf space. You can’t hold a digital book in your hand, smell the pages or hear the crackle. You can’t look at the stain on page 51 and remember you were eating nachos at the time and were so engrossed that you dripped some cheese on the page. I love being able to hold a book in my hand, almost like a talisman.
So while I’ll read e-books sometimes… for me, print books will never die.