Personally, I’m not a big fan of eBooks. I don’t own an eReader and have no interest in buying one. While I am certainly a reader (as an academic I read material in my field pretty much every day and I certainly read books for pleasure every day), I am just as much a book collector. For me, I value books as physical objects as much as a medium for information transmittal. The format matters almost as much to me as the actual content of the book.
Having said that, I’m no Luddite and I do own plenty of eBooks in the form of PDFs of various role-playing games (RPGs). What do I do with these? Well, not much. The ones really like get printed out, three-hole punched, and placed in binders for later perusal. The rest? They sit there on my hard drive.
But I know that I’m a bit unusual in all of that, and I do think that eBooks are going to dramatically change the face of the publishing and bookselling industries. I think we’re already beginning to see some of these changes. There are certainly positives and negatives with eBooks, and perhaps I’ll discuss my thoughts on those issues in a later post. But for now, I’d like to provide a link to an interesting discussion of the changes that one thoughtful analyst — Tim Spalding of LibraryThing — suggests we might see as eBooks continue to grow in market share.