I still find people talking about physical books are a superior product. That the medium of delivery matters more than a general personal preference would tell you.

Look, I’m not saying someone is dumb or wrong for preferring physical books. What I’m saying is that the reasons often given, two of them offered in the quote from Nathan Fillion above, aren’t really the most important reasons someone can prefer a physical book.

You think I’m wrong?

If those things, the scent or feel, were truly the most important things about a physical book, then I could fill a book with outright gibberish, nonsense words or even random characters, and it would be as valuable as any other book.

You can’t tell me you believe that to be true, so I’m going to assume that the story or information is more important to any person than either of those qualities.

Now, for some things, I prefer a physical book. I’ll take a well-indexed physical copy of a reference book over any digital copy without good search tools. But a searchable, hyper-linked reference e-book is a much more useful tool, if the information can be displayed in a usable way.

And for most of my ‘normal’ reading, I prefer my kindle. An e-book gives me the same story as the physical copy most of the time, and I’m in it for the story, and end up giving away soft covers when I’m done with them except for a select few.

So what would I like to see? I want hardbound books that will last again. No more cheap paper and binding. Sure, it makes the hardbacks cheaper for the consumer, but the permanence, the reason you’d want a hardbound, is not as good as it used to be. Sure, I’ll only buy four a year, but those four books will be ones I want to see on my shelf for years. For all my other reading, I want quality digital books I can read on the go.

It doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. We can have both.

So what do you think, does the medium matter to you?

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