I read recently that Amazon currently sell something like 180 e-books for every 100 dead-tree books.

I just finished reading Grumby as an e-book on my iPad via the Amazon Kindle software.

The book was a good read and it was a pleasure reading it on the iPad screen. Perhaps the best thing was that I could start reading it mere seconds after deciding to buy it. Instant gratification!

But here’s the problem. As soon as i finished it i thought, “Tim would perhaps like this, I’ll give it to him to read”. And there’s the “gotcha”. With a traditional book you can pass it on to whoever you like and they in turn can pass it on. So that over it’s lifetime a book is probably read by dozens of people.

With the e-book, I can’t do that. Once I’ve finished it it just sits there in my device doing nothing. It’s dead money.

There’s no incentive at all for Amazon and the like to make it possible to pass on an e-book once you’ve read it. They’d obviously prefer Tim went and bought it himself.

Given that most books are the same price or more expensive in the e-book format than they are in paperback, I think for now I’ll stick with dead trees over dead money on my next purchase.

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