Physical Books vs. E-Books – Round 38

Alexandra Ringe, right, an editor, and her husband, Jim Hanas, a fiction writer, both 41, fell in love over books. (Yana Paskova for The New York Times)

In Of Two Minds About Books, Matt Richtel and Claire Cain Miller of the NY Times weigh in on the changing book landscape.  (It is one of the “most e-mailed” articles at the moment).  The question of the day:  physical books, or e-books?  There are now enough couples who read both types that they are now choosing sides.

The article begins this way:

Auriane and Sebastien de Halleux are at sharp odds over “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” but not about the plot. The problem is that she prefers the book version, while he reads it on his iPad. And in this literary dispute, the couple says, it’s ne’er the twain shall meet.

Already, publishers are moving toward “if you buy the physical book, you get the e-book free” packaging:

A few publishers and bookstores are testing the bundling of print books with e-books at a discount. Barnes & Noble started offering bundles in June at about 50 stores and plans to expand the program in the fall, said Mary Ellen Keating, a Barnes & Noble spokeswoman.

Thomas Nelson, a publisher of religious books, offers free e-books with a print book for some titles. It is particularly good for readers who want to share books with family or friends who read in different formats, said Tod Shuttleworth, senior vice president and group publisher at Thomas Nelson. The bundles have sold well, and Thomas Nelson is considering adding more for the holiday shopping season.

As I have said often, I think the day of the e-book as dominant is right around the corner.  It seems and feels inevitable.  There are too many articles describing the problem, and hinting at the ultimate outcome.

And this has nothing to do with my preference.  I like the smell of musty pages, and the sound of pages turning.

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