Now we have been equipped with a device that will work as a very good ebook reader I started to look at buying books that way. However, I was shocked at the prices compared to paperback equivalent. For example Iain M Banks Consider Phlebas in word format is £5.10 add Amazon, the ebook equivalent (Kindle) is £4.84. A total discount of £0.26 – the price of a second class stamp!

This seems ridiculous to me, to sell the paper copy you have to pay shipping (assuming you use Amazon’s Super Saver Delivery), plus all the staff costs for picking and packaging the book. Not to mention the costs of running a warehouse, all of which must cost more than 26p. Then for the publishers, they have no printing and distribution costs – crazy when you think about the fact that the manuscript these days is even given to the publisher in electronic form.

Then for me, well if I buy the paper copy no one is going to try accuse me of abusing copyright if I give my paper copy of the book to a friend. There is no DRM on paper so I can read it at work, at home, on the train. The only downside – it uses up a bit of space.

So for me, I’ll only entertain technical or freeboots, purely because it is helpful for me to have a technical pocket library that I can search, or because the book hasn’t cost me anything anyway.