A couple of years ago Felicity Hannah argued that we should stop buying print books and buy e-books instead. Now, she’s changed her mind, and agrees with her opponents of two years ago. She argues that e-books are no longer necessarily cheaper, in fact, an e-book may now cost more than its paperback equivalent. Also, she doesn’t like the fact that she can’t lend her e-books, sell them or give them away: “That makes reading e-books weirdly isolating and more expensive“. It’s also too easy to spend on e-books – see the book online, a couple of clicks and its on your reader – so she’s spending more. Finally, she likes bookshops and finds that too many of them are closing, including ones she frequented and liked.
I must admit that I think her original idea was crazy: I look for the best buy and sometimes it’s an e-book, sometimes it’s a paperback. And if I’m buying a large format collection of photographs, I’m going to get the hardback, since the paper needs the security of a good binding. Horses for courses as they say.
However, I wonder if Felicity’s experience signals the start of a backlash – we’ll find out if the figures show a slower increase in the sales of e-books.