Why eBooks are a fad

It’s far from economical either. Leaving aside the cost of the device itself, eBooks are barely cheaper – and sometimes more expensive – than their paper equivalents. And as Hornby points out: “When we bought our iPods, we alreadyowned the music to put on it; none of us own eBooks.” Admittedly, there are vast back catalogues of free out-of-copyright titles to download on the internet, butthe last time I wandered into Waterstone’s, it was Jeremy Clarkson and Iain Banks who were inhabiting the bestsellers section, not Dickens and Tolstoy. And don’t go thinking you can easily borrow eBooks off your friends or snap-up second-hand bargains, because the books you’re paying top-whack for come gift-wrapped in DRM.

Why eBooks are a fad

In short, there’s little incentive to dump books. “Mostly, we can read just enough of a free eBook to decide whether to buy it in hard copy – but not enough to substitute the eBook for the hard copy,” argues renowned technology author Cory Doctorow. “Like practically everything in marketing and promotion, the trick is to find the form of the work that serves as enticement, not replacement.”

So, save your money. Buy a good book, or a magazine. In fact, there’s one very well-written one I’d thoroughly recommend, it’s called PC Pro.

Back to “eBooks: The verdict”

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