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What’s the Difference?

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December 31, 2012 by S. K. Stewart

books and ereaderWhile most of us think of the difference between e-book and print book as the method of reading, it really is more than that.

Instant availability. In the Internet age, and quite honestly the culture of instant gratification, being instantly available is a big plus.

Storage. E-readers can store hundreds, thousands of books, magazines, and other documents. This type of storage capability saves shelf space, and needing a place to put those shelves. I like the idea of not weighing down my suitcase with my various reading materials. Since e-books can also be stored on a smartphone, reading material is readily available.

Flexible. The reader can choose the size and sometimes the style of text. This makes e-books attractive for readers who may have vision disabilities. The newer e-readers have the capability to dim or brighten the background for reading in the dark or in bright sunlight.

Price. Price is not as much a factor as it was even a year ago. Some e-books are now priced nearly the same as print. Whether publishers are doing this to increase print sales or increase profit is not known. But e-books for the most part are cheaper than print books.

Interactive. As devices become more sophisticated, the ability to add video and audio, along with sharing notes with other readers makes e-books more attractive. Younger readers are coming to expect such interactivity. With the ability include links within the text and in the endnotes, it is easy to find out more information while reading. Many writers also include Facebook and Twitter links to share what you are reading with your friends.

Environmental Sound. This is an important factor to some readers. E-books don’t use paper and fuel in shipping.

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