Do you think eBooks will replace paperback/hardcovers entirely?

I was purchasing some programming books on Amazon last night and I noticed that many of those books are available for download on the Amazon Kindle. I currently don't have an eReader, and even if I did, I would prefer to have paperback books to study from and complete projects with since that's what I'm used to. Then a thought came across my mind that made me balk on my purchases... and ultimately, the order for $200 worth of paperback books was never placed.

Now that I think about it, an eReader would be convenient. Instead of turning pages, you simply swipe. With a proper stand, there wouldn't be questionable angles either, and that's imperative especially for textbooks that coincide with computer applications. If you could tap on a command and say "Turn to page 255" or "Turn to Chapter 4" that beats the hell out of actual books. Then I thought of an analogous dilemma that originated more than a decade ago... CD or MP3? As we enter 2013, the answer is as clear as the resolution on a brand new tablet.

I'm jumping on the bandwagon and saying that eBooks will replace paperbacks/hardcovers. Obviously not entirely, though for the majority of practical uses, eBooks will reign supreme.

What do you think? Which do you prefer?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Right now, no they won't replace paperback and hardcovers, but in a few years, I have no doubt. Laptops will also go the way of the PC and tablets will power our increasingly pixelated world.

    Hell, my promotion at work came with a brand new iphone and ipad. I honestly have not touched a piece of paper in several months. Contracts are signed via electronic devices. Notes are written down on my ipad. Everything nowadays for me is done electronically.

    By 2015, give or take a couple years, paper should be outsourced by most companies and schools. I'm guessing by 2020 paper is going to be a thing of the past and rightly so. 2030 our electronics will be composed of organic composites. 2050 computers will begin being directly implanted into our bodies in one form or another.

    Paper will become obsolete. As will PCs, Laptops, Cellphones, and Tablets... In the traditional sense anyways. They will transcend their current physical states. I see a world were the line between computers and humans becomes a little fuzzy. I don't necessarily consider that a bad thing ether.

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    • p.s. sorry for getting a little off track. I got carried away. I love technology.

    • Show All
    • You can't just look at technology. You have to consider human factors engineering. That's how people work, and most importantly, how they WANT to work. People like paper. In an office people like to have paper scattered all over their desk. A bunch of papers on a desk, or in a file cabinet can be much more organized than the electronic equivalent. I have never found an electronic way that is faster and more organized than opening a drawer and pulling out a piece of paper.

    • That's your generation. My grandfather was the same way. The company I work for was the same until it passed onto the son. What your describing is a dying form. I don't like paper. It's cumbersome. Walk into a university today. My generation isn't using a pencil. They're using a keyboard. They're not making phone calls, they're sending texts. Today's kids know how to use a computer at 6 and 7.

      And before you say paper isn't expensive, think ink.

Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 6

  • No, I think there will always be books. Actually, one of my hobbies is to go to weird little bookstores and find weird, old, almost destroyed books. I take them home for virtually no money and take care of them. I´m sure a lot of other people do this as well.

    I remember when I was 14, my aunt lent me a book she told me I was gonna love. It was Wuthering Heights, which is to this day, 10 years later, my favorite book ever. Eventually I gave it back to her, but I still remember everything about that book: the color of the cover, the texture of the words "wuthering heights", turning the pages, the smell only old books have. I wouldn´t have any of those memories if I had read that book on the internet.

    I´m in college and I have to read different books every week, so sometimes I read them off the internet, but only because they are too expensive, or I don´t really care about them.

    It doesn´t matter how much technology surrounds us; some things should remain the way they were.

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    • " I?m sure a lot of other people do this as well. "

      *raises hand*

      The used stores where I live are pretty small. The next city over has some huge ones. I've been to a couple of them but still haven't made it to the largest ones.

  • In the future, probably, and I think that's a shame when it comes to reading books. I love turning the pages of an exciting book, all huddled up in bed with a nice hot chocolate. Somehow the idea of me doing that with a kindle isn't really the same. I just like the worn covers, and thumbed pages that come with a paperback/hardback. And, I like looking at my bookcase and seeing it stuffed with old classics that I absolutely adore. With a kindle, you won't be able to spot the much loved books, and it certainly won't look good sitting all by itself on my bookcase :T.

    However... when it comes to textbooks, I like the idea of eBooks. Textbooks are just too big and heavy, and it takes me forever to find what I'm searching for. With a kindle, it would be more convenient, and much easier to carry around. But again, what's going to be holding my door open for me if I get a kindle? Those textbooks are pretty good doorstops :p

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    • Actually the eReader OS makes your virtual "bookshelf" look quite dandy. Its just not physical. Though that nostalgic feeling can't be replaced...

  • Not entirely but for the most part yes

    I love books and haven't bought a kindle yet but probably will at some point

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    • yeah, books will likely never be replaced. Not in our lifetimes.

    • You're so certain.

    • I think most new books will be replaced by ebooks and it won't take very long. But used books will around for a very long time. They will keep getting passed along from generation to generation.

  • I really hope e books don't replace real ones, I have a kindle and a lot of actual books, although yes the kindle is more practical if I'm going on holiday or carrying it round as a book may get damaged but I still prefer real books.

    study books on the kindle are annoying, you could get distracted by an app or get a Skype call and stop studying.

    and as for fictional books, it just feels better with a real book, it jut doesn't feel the same reading from a screen.

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    • Those seem like great problems to have.

    • Have you tried reading the Kindle for a few hours straight? Does it bother your eyes? It really gets to my eyes reading a computer screen for more than a few pages, but the readers are supposed to be a lot easier on the eyes.

    • yeah after about 3 hours it starts to get to your eyes

  • Well seeing as how more and more people are spending time on the Internet, that wouldn't surprise me if it did. But I don't think it will.

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  • no books are old fashion they will never be replaced in my eyes

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What Guys Said 7

  • I don't think that ebooks will necessarily replace bound paper anytime soon, at least not completely. You still need to purchase an e-reader to use ebooks (at least, in any sort of book-like capacity). And then, of course, the $70+ for the reader could technically get ten paperbacks, with no real significant savings on electronic versions to defray the cost over time.

    The primary benefit is, of course, storage. It's mostly why MP3s are quickly replacing CDs. You can fit thousands of songs on a tiny convenient device, easily equating to hundreds of CDs. In the same fashion, you can store hundreds of books one device that takes up less space than a single book. That's the selling point. But then, people don't usually read the same book dozens (hundreds) of times, not like they listen to music. So books are easily bought and read, then lended, sold or tossed.

    As for my thoughts, I have an Android tablet with a Kindle app installed. I can read my entire collection of books, look up stuff on the internet if I want to, and my six-year old can play games and watch movies on it during trips. It really doesn't get any better.

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  • As someone older I can say I've been hearing for decades about books being replaced. And my father heard about it for decades before that. However from everything I've read it may be finally starting to happen. I'm not sure but I think ebook sales have already passed paper book...might be wrong about that though.

    It'll be about economics. As paper book sales decrease, the lower volume of sales will eventually force a price increase. That will cause even more people to consider ebooks.

    Personally I like reading paperback novels. I've never tried an ebook, but it just doesn't seem like it has the same "atmosphere" as paper. I also question the cost. It's expensive to get started. I almost always buy used books, so I could buy a heck of a lot of books for the cost of a decent reader. Plus, I just like browsing through used book stores.

    For sure the used book market will be around for a long long time.

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  • Books will always have their place, but eReaders will be a bigger thing. I have a Kindle and the I cool thing about is that I can get almost any book that I want right then. I'm sure everyone else goes through moods too. If you want to read a science fiction novel, you can get one just like that. If you want to read a historical novel about the Russian civil war, it's at your finger tips. You can subscribe to newspapers, look for best sellers, get an audiobook, and there's a free version of all the books that have had their copyrights run out.

    However, I think I would prefer the actual text book and as aMuse mentioned, a nice leather bound book/library is nice to have.

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  • Never entirely. It won't happen.

    For general usage, say 80% or so, still probably 2 generations away from that.

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    • Most adults won't give up their books, so yeah I agree it's going to take the younger generation to build their libraries electronically and establish a new standard.

  • I have more than 1000 books at home, and I don't see myself reading an ebook. My girlfriend has a kindle, but it's definitely not the same.

    This, and the prices. If I just save 5€ compared to a paperback, e.g. paying 15€ instead of 20, I don't see where is my benefit. I see the company's benefit (selling 15€ something that is worth a few cents, as there is absolutely no work involved), but I don't see mine. Especially after the itunes incident, where people had bought TV series, which were removed from their accounts because the parent companies had had a problem.

    When I buy a book, it's mine. If I buy an e-book, it's still theirs, and they get my money. There is something I don't like there.

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    • Saving 25% goes a long way for a book worm with over 1000 books. Though I could understand how ownership rights and contracts can get dicey. I don't see it being an issue with books.

    • The ?15 pays for the intellectual property and a tiny bit of it is for materials and distribution. Some booksellers have classic (public domain, no intellectual property) paperbacks for $0.99, which is all profit, materials, and distribution. The material cost of a physical book is negligible. That's all I'm saying.

    • Except that it's not how it works. The writer usually has an advance on his book, and if they get a small % of the 15, that is a miracle reserved to the top 100. That's how it works, at least here.

  • The $3.89 paper backs trash romance novels will all likely go to eBooks in time, but I think collectors will still cherish a nice library of leather bound gold leaf paged well illustrated editions of good books like the complete Sherlock Holmes link

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    • Yes, used and collectable book stores are some of the few types of retail stores that have not been put out of business by big chains. I was in New York a few years ago and saw a Barnes and Nobel that had a large used book section. I hope that doesn't catch on. Used book stores just have such cool atmosphere, like browsing through the past, and you never know what you'll find.

  • I've been thinking about this for some time, and I really hope it doesn't happen. Reading eBooks doesn't feel the same, I don't know how to explain it.

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