Paper vs. Digital Books

by Eric Price on September 12, 2011

We’ve heard about the usual differences. An e-book device might be heavier than the real book. The glare on the screen might be bad for your eyes. Lugging a bunch of books around is solved with the e-book device. But, what of the pricing of e-books vs. real books?

I can go to a used book store and find a book for $1. Brick and mortar (physical) book stores have large clearance or discounted sections for better pricing on books. But, e-books aren’t physical. There’s no need to discount them to clear up shelf space. So, it’s rare to find them “on sale.” You might find them at a discount vs. the physical book – but that’s only for new books. The used physical books can still be found for even less.

While it’s true that some authors have discovered that marking their e-books down to 99 cents right from the start can increase sales – most authors can’t do this as their books don’t sell that much in volume in the first place.

And the irony, of course, is that since e-books aren’t physical – there are no costs to recoup for printing, paper, shipping and taking up shelf space.

So, for now, I’ll still buy that $1 physical book in a used book store because the digital version is at it’s regular price. And there’s another bonus! After I’m done reading it, I can donate it or sell it back to the used book store!

For more info, read: Amazon in Talks to Launch Digital-Book Library , E-Book Prices Prop Up Print Siblings

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June Stadnik September 13, 2011 at 8:57 am

However, you can get free e-books online. These are older, more the classics versus this year’s best sellers. One such site is Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/) which offers over 36,000 different titles. All they ask for is donations to fund further digitizing of books. This site also has links for 100,000 titles. This would keep you busy for a while… I still like my physical book, but I can see where the digital version would be beneficial for traveling or educational purposes. My books for my master’s degree were all digital. Children are now getting iPads instead of textbooks in school – hopefully the backpacks will become much lighter and help the school district with their budget.

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