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On Books: Value in an E-Book World
E-Books have changed the way we think of value in regards to books

For myriad reasons, E-Bookers think that the price of E-Books should be no more than the price of a mass market paperback, and often less. Price is a reflection of value.

Much of the thinking revolves around a central point: unlike P-Books, E-Books are intangible — just a collection of bits and bytes. Yes, there are other reasons, too, such as the lack of secondary market value, lower production costs, restrictions on usage, and the like, but the reality is that most of the conscious and unconscious reasoning revolves around the matter of intangibility.

When I buy a P-Book for $15, I have something solid to hold in my hand. I can put it on a shelf and admire its cover beauty; I can open the book and feel the pages as I turn them. An E-Book lacks all of the sensory qualities of a P-Book – it is intangible. The sensory experience lies with the reading device itself, not with the E-Book.

I am aware that many E-Bookers pooh-pooh the sensory argument, but it really is not so easily dismissed. Many of the things that E-Bookers complain are restrictive about E-Books are not restrictive about P-Bookers because of the sensory experience. More importantly, it is difficult to become enamored with bits and bytes, yet the beauty that a P-Book can project addresses the needs of multiple senses.

Complete article here.