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Paper books are simple. eBooks are complicated. If I buy a book, I own it. I'm done. Short of the total fall of technological civilization, I will be able to read it whenever I want. If I want to read it somewhere other than home, I bring it with me. It's a permanent addition to my store of knowledge. Short of fire or theft, nobody's taking it away, and books aren't exactly a hot item on the black market. Any situation that would threaten the utility of a paper book requires a response far beyond simply safeguarding books, so actually owning a paper book bears no cognitive load at all. By contrast, eBooks make me think about things I never ever want to think about, like "is my reader going to run out of power?", "will the publisher revoke my ability to read the book?", "what happens if Amazon/Apple/whoever goes bankrupt?", or "why is the layout of this book so bad?". Even PDFs make me think about backup schemes. Why would I want to complicate my life with these kinds of questions?
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2012 on Books: Bits vs. Atoms at Coding Horror
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Apr 10, 2012