Viva Digital Books!

Wow, I never could have dreamed that I would one day mint such a title. You see, I am not a techie. I was born and raised in rural West Dakota. I’m about as traditional as one can get. Nature is my religion. And yet I love digital books (aka epubs, ebooks).

Funny thing is, I assumed everyone else had embraced digital books, along with cell phones (something I am not addicted to). Turns out I was wrong. In fact, I probably sell as many paperbacks as I do digital books. Maybe more. And that’s sobering, considering that my paperbacks tend to be expensive due to their numerous color pictures. More about that shortly.

Frankly, I’m amazed that paper books are still popular. I appreciate the aesthetics. It would be fun to sit on the porch of a West Dakota farm house reading a paperback romance novel while listening to mourning doves cooing.

Unfortunately, I’m not a novelist; I write non-fiction, focusing largely on politics, and paper books can’t even begin to compete with digital books in this arena. Let me explain why.

Research ˆ

If you’re a serious student, you should never choose a paper book over an epub. The key word is search.

Type “conspiracy,” “Carthage,” or “Bill Gates” into an epub’s search function, and the world is your oyster. This feature alone blows paper books out of the water.

It gets even better, because that search function can help you evaluate books focusing on politics, history, or philosophy. Just search for the word “Jew.” The results are mind boggling.

Many books don’t feature a single instance of the J-word, suggesting that Jews don’t even exist when they largely control much of the world. Other books include a few token references, commonly citing the poor, eternally oppressed Jews as victims of the Holocaust or “antisemitism,” whatever that is.

This simple test explains why as many as 99% of the books in these genres in American bookstores and libraries ought to be burned.

Digital books also have some really cool notation features.

Color Pictures ˆ

Paper books are much more expensive to produce than epubs. Color pictures make them more expensive still.

Fortunately, the days when an enterprising self-publisher had to fork out $10,000 to get 3,000 copies of his opus published are gone. Today, a self-publisher can just submit a book to an online retailer, which can publish books on demand. However, color still drives up the cost considerably. For example, the paperback version of my book China VS USA is priced at $30, while I could sell the digital version for $1.

In fact, China VS USA probably doesn’t really need color pictures. However, I can’t imagine publishing my state symbols series in black-and-white. On the contrary, the books in that series are packed with color pictures of state flags, flowers, birds, butterflies, and on and on. A paperback version of My State Symbols Book would probably cost over $200.

Special Features ˆ

Though I am not a huge fan of technology, I do appreciate the good things people sometimes dream up. A good example is the navigation features in epubs.

Digital books are essentially websites, and they support much of the technology that powers websites. The technology and features improve each year.

Portability ˆ

If you’re planning a camping trip, be sure and take along a paperback. However, if you’re walking to class or commuting to work, you can bring an entire library with you on your laptop.

Digital books also help reduce clutter in your home or apartment.

Environment ˆ

This is a tricky one. Paper is made out of trees, of course, so supporting ebooks helps preserve woodlands. On the other hand, one can’t read an epub without electricity or a battery, which also take a toll on the environment.

So, which takes the greater environmental toll, epubs or paper books?

Then again, we’re living in a digital society, and many people leave their computers on 24/7. As long as you’re consuming electricity, better to read an epub than spend all your time on Facebook.

Cost ˆ

Last but hardly least, digital books are usually less expensive than paper books. The cost difference is sometimes considerable.

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