"Dead Tree" books vs. E-Books

In the past few days my attention has been repeatedly drawn to the relative merits and disadvantages of conventional books as opposed to electronic book formats such as Amazon Kindle.

Looking for books on a particular and fairly rare topic, I searched both on the internet and on the bookshops in Whitehaven. Most of them had nothing suitable, though I was very impressed by the encyclopaedic knowledge of his stock displayed by the proprietor of "Michael Moon's" in Lowther Street. Heaven only knows how many tens of thousands of books he has in stock, but he was able to give me a detailed description of what he had on the subject, down to the suitability of the individual book for my children.

You cannot obtain that kind of detailed advice from any online service (or from your bog-standard high street bookshop either, of course, but specialist booksellers who know exactly what they are doing are not quite extinct. Not yet.)

The following day, over lunch with a friend, we discussed the merits of Amazon kindle. From my point of view, their business model does not yet make this service attractive - new books for download often cost more than the price including postage of the same book in "Dead Tree" format, even if you can't find someone offering the book for one pence plus £2.80 postage - which you very frequently can.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that e-books are making strides and beginning to affect the rest of the market.

Discussion continues in next post, later today. Watch this space ...


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