10 Benefits of Ebooks that Will Surprise You

Did you know that ebooks are even better than you think? There are obvious benefits to ebooks, with lower prices and portability topping out the list. But in my use of ebooks, I have noticed other benefits that I haven’t seen anyone mention yet.

You may be thinking, “Is this the same guy who gave us 10 Reasons Why Physical Books Are Still Better Than Digital Books?”

Yep. Same guy. And I still hold that conviction. But in that post, I never said that I didn’t like ebooks, just that I think physical books are better. Last week, I was glad to see that I’m in good company.

So here are ten things I love about ebooks. Have you experienced any of these surprising beneifts?

1. Less buyer’s remorse. Ebooks can capitalize on our immediate gratification impulse (not that it’s a good impulse, but if you followed it, might as well make the best of it). How many of us have purchased a physical book on impulse from Amazon and waited several days for it to be shipped, only for it to sit on the shelf because the excitement wore off while we waited for it to arrive? Immediate delivery means – hopefully – less unread books that you purchased on a whim.

2. The Evernote connection. It’s easy to import your Kindle highlights into Evernote, making them easily and speedily searchable. This is a huge time saver when it comes to sermon prep. Michael Hyatt shows you how.

3. Shareability. The impact of a book grows exponentially with the shareability of ebooks. With the reader’s ability to tweet a quote from the Kindle app, the author increases the number of people he or she can impact, not to mention sales.

4. Your physical books are searchable…for free. You can read and search many books for free at Google Books. This gives you all the benefits of owning a physical book, and many of the best benefits (e.g., ubiquity and searchability) of digital books.

5. Increased student engagement with God’s word. Last week, when I thought I caught one of my junior highers texting during the sermon, I discovered that she was actually typing a note into her ESV Bible iPhone app. Awesome.

6. Plumbing the depths of our creative capacity. Tapping into our creativity is a way we reflect our Creator. Living on the cutting edge of technology and innovation taps into the image of God in us. It can be an idol, sure, but it also opens new avenues to worship.

7. Author: You. Because of ebooks, anyone can become an author. Write a book that is worth reading, and then make it free to download from a website. You might be surprised how many people read it. Maybe you’ll see one on this blog someday.

8. Developing better reading habits. Since ebooks require a different set of behaviors compared to physical books, a switch to the digital format provides an opportunity to form new – and better – reading habits. Not that it’s easy to form new habits, but sometimes a context change makes it easier.

9. I read ebooks faster than physical books. I think part of this is due to the fact that I skim more in ebooks, whereas with physical books I usually read each individual word (a habit I’ve never been able to break). Since not all books are meant to be read with equal depth, I’m more likely to go the ebook route with books for which I don’t expect to savor each sentence.

10. Goodbye, bookshelf pride factor. Visitors to your office might ooh and ahh over your bookshelves, but your ego gets no such boost from your digital library. If anything, it gets a healthy serving of humble pie, as you scroll through all the books you’ve bought but haven’t read. When it comes to ebooks, you either read ‘em, or you don’t. They’re no good for holding up windows, propping open doors, or impressing coworkers.

Anything you like about ebooks and digital books that not many people are talking about? Let us know in the comments!

Comments

  1. Great list, Eric. Actually, using an e-reader has made me acutely aware of your point #10. I often think I should have ordered a physical book so I can line my shelves with it. Pride’s a dangerous thing.

  2. A big advantage of ebooks is how easy it is to modify/delete your highlights and notes. I’ve always been a bit uneasy about highlighting or writing in my print books because once the notes is there it tends to be hard to remove (sometimes even pencil can’t be fully removed). With an ebook, it is easy to fully delete markings if you no longer want them. Having all my Kindle highlightings collected in one online location is also super useful when preparing blog posts

    • Eric McKiddie says:

      I’m the same way! I always take notes with pencils because I hate if I mess up. I feel like I ruined the book if I miswrite something in pen.

  3. A big plus for me is that ebooks are generally more affordable. A buck saved here and there adds up. I also like the ability to switch between books easily. I can do lighter reading around the family circus in the evenings, sneak in bits of briefer reading in between meetings and such, and then hit the deeper things when it’s quieter.

  4. Doug Halsne says:

    With my iPad I’m able to read in bed at night with the lights off and not keep my wife awake.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] McKiddie recently suggested ten reasons why physical books are still better than e-books (cf. this post). While I don’t find all of his reasons for preferring physical books equally compelling, a [...]

  2. [...] 5. “Less buyer’s remorse. Ebooks can capitalize on our immediate gratification impulse (not that it’s a good impulse, but if you followed it, might as well make the best of it). How many of us have purchased a physical book on impulse from Amazon and waited several days for it to be shipped, only for it to sit on the shelf because the excitement wore off while we waited for it to arrive? Immediate delivery means – hopefully – less unread books that you purchased on a whim.” LINK HERE. [...]

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