I'm a card-carrying member of the market segment of readers that likes the feel and smell and overall experience of reading a book made out of cellulose products more than the experience of reading a book made out of electrons. But books made out of electrons appear to be catching on more and more, if you can believe the statistics.
I look at the bookshelves in my home office and bemoan how I've run out of room for new additions. I hope my wife doesn't notice the Compulsion to Buy Books has led me to having to lay some books horizontally across the tops of others in order to get them "shelved." I don't even want to think what she'd say if I started taking over the guest room for my office and let my current office become a library.
But e-books? Sure, they don't take up room. But if I don't see them lying around, I might forget about them and not read them. They don't feel right, look right, smell right. I can't trade them in at Half Price Books when I'm finished with them.
But what e-book publishers are starting to do with book design is pulling me in. If a publisher can give me an experience with an e-book that I can't get with an ordinary book, I might just give it a try. That's what I did with Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition (PadWorX Digital Media), named the iTunes App of the Week this past week. Here we have a novel written in 1897, a novel I'd not ordinarily read because of its antiquated style, but through e-book magic has been made interactive, with music, sound effects, objects that move on the screen. Letters and papers have to be moved with a finger swipe in order to read the letters beneath. Tip the iPad and the rosary necklace hanging across the top of the book in an early chapter tips, following gravity. PadWorX has taken an old book and made it fun! This is Bram Stoker's book on steroids - a perfect piece of entertainment for Halloween, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. For a preview, see this YouTube video.