I’ve read many discussions about the differences between ebooks and paperbacks and reasons for buying one or the other. Paperbacks might be gentler on the eyes. They’re easy to flip through and many readers simply prefer the feel of a “real book.” But ebooks take up no weight or space in your suitcase or handbag. They’re also cheaper. And the arguments go on.
I don’t remember reading about the extra advantages of buying the paperback version of a non-fiction book. I don’t mean any non-fiction book. A memoir, for instance, reads like a work of fiction. It’s a story that you generally read from beginning to end. A non-fiction book that wants to teach or guide you in some way is usually organised into sections and sub-sections. You can read it from beginning to end, but you can equally pick out the parts that interest you. Or you might do both: read through once and later return to remind yourself of a specific section. It’s easier to do that with the hard copy.
Because you can flick through the paperback, you can get a better idea of the way the book is organised. Sections that are specially formatted in a different way from the rest stand out more. Overall, I think the hard copy of such a book gives you a better reading experience.
When, for example, I bought J.T.Mallory’s book, Building an Author Platform (for beginners), I knew I wanted to be able to flip backwards and forwards in it. I needed to be able to find the relevant information for whatever I was trying to do at any particular moment. So I bought the paperback and I’m glad I did. It wouldn’t have been so easy to jump around in the ebook.
My new book, Social Anxiety Revealed, now available for pre-order until the launch on Tuesday, is similarly organised in sections. And that’s why I think you’ll get more satisfaction from the paperback. But that’s just my opinion. Your opinion is the one that counts.