When it comes down to it, eBooks do entail a whole set of problems, which should deter any sane person from going anywhere near them. Now let me count the ways:
- DRM downright sucks. Unless readers break the DRM on their purchases, they’re locked into particular devices to read those eBooks.
- Terrible formatting makes it difficult to read some eBooks. Ever had what was supposed to be a single page split into 4 pages?
- Lending eBooks to friends either isn’t as simple as with physical books or isn’t possible at all.
- Neither is borrowing eBooks from friends simple or always possible.
- Reselling and buying second-hand is not an option.
- eBooks can’t be opened without an electronic device. Physical books are self-sufficient.
- eBook readers need to be charged.
- While PDF allows for fixed formatting that is always clean, zooming in on PDFs is a nightmare on eBook readers.
- Readers who always have a pencil in hand can’t make their mark so easily.
- Buying eBooks technically means buying the licenses to read them.
- It’s difficult to cite quotes from eBooks in the absence of page numbers.
- Geographical restrictions on eBook stores can limit the access to eBooks. Geographical restrictions rarely are a problem when ordering books online.
- eBooks are dependent on software. Better hope your eBook formats never become obsolete. Physical books on the other hand have survived for centuries.
- Did I mention that formatting can be horrible? Yeah, that’s my main gripe.
If you don’t like reading eBooks, it’s probably not such a great loss on your part, given all these problems with eBooks. In fact, not reading eBooks can save quite the headache. But I also think anyone who has never even given eBooks a shot is missing out.
Do you read eBooks? Why did you decide for or against them?