12 Reasons Why I Read E-Books Instead of “Real” Books

In my previous post Leaders Are Readers, I wrote how I developed my joy and habit of reading since I was a kid. Over the years, I’ve kinda slowed down in buying physical books and turned to buying e-books (electronic) instead.


My History of Using E-Books

I bought my first e-book (not counting PDFs on PC) when I had my first hand-held device which was a Palm TX about seven years back. Since then, I’ve bought and downloaded hundreds more e-books. I also had a few Windows Mobile hand-held devices and currently, I’m using a Kindle 3. All my devices are able to sync with my PC/notebook which keep backups of the e-books.

Some book lovers and purists will protest, “no digital books”, “real books all the way” and “nothing can substitute the real thing!” They’d oppose and resist the “onslaught” of e-book technology, claiming that it’ll ruin their simple reading pleasures. “Old school is the way to go”, they’d say. I don’t blame them. I do admit that nothing can replace the sensations of holding a beautiful book in the palm of your hands: the touch, the smell and the sound of flipping through the pages. Reading is an experience. And I do still buy good “real” books sometimes, especially when I can’t find the electronic version.

So, why do I love e-books?


Here are My 12 Reasons

I read electronic books

Amazon Kindle 3

  1. Mobile gigantic libraries on my palm. I literally have hundreds, if not thousands, of books available at the command of my finger gestures. I carry them with me everywhere I go. Anyway, it’s integrated with my phone, so I don’t have to carry extra devices (like my Kindle) if I don’t want to. Try carrying just a dozen of physical books with you!
  2. Unlimited shelf space. Capacity of physical shelf is no longer an issue to me. A cheap digital memory card these days can store thousands of e-books. Now, how much would a shelf that’s able to store just one hundred physical books cost?
  3. No more wasted time while waiting. Since my e-books are ever with me, I can always fill up gaps of time with something useful to read while on the go, or while waiting in between appointments or for someone that shows up late for meetings. The convenience of the portability of e-books is just so amazing. It’s life-altering, literally.
  4. They don’t get damaged or rot. No matter how beautiful or well-made physical books are, they can be damaged if not handled and kept with care. Even if they are well used and maintained, nothing can prevent them from rotting over time. After all, they’re papers. On the other hand, my e-books don’t collect dust or rot (although my physical hand-held devices do).
  5. Never lose them. With e-books, I can make multiple copies and save them in different locations and devices, I’ll never lose them. Even in the worst case when I do lose all of them (talk about lousy luck!), I can always re-download them from the online sites where they were purchased. I don’t have to pay again, just have to login to my online account, view my collection of libraries there and select the titles which I need to download again.
  6. Shop for books without leaving my home. The convenience of e-commerce means I can purchase e-books from anywhere at anytime 24/7.
  7. Compatibility. E-books these days are available in many formats and in various platforms. That means I can read the same title from my phone, iPod, PC/ notebook and tablet devices (eg. iPad). Good e-book stores normally provide multiple formats, and therefore you only pay once and get to own all formats of the same e-book title.
  8. Synchronization. One of the best features of e-books which I love is this: beside doing the usual bookmarking, highlighting and note-making, I can also synchronize all of them between all my devices. For example, I can pick up reading the same title from my iPad where I left off in my notebook, with identical personal notes and highlights transferred seamlessly.
  9. Instant searching. It’s now easy to search key words and ideas from thousand of books with the electronic searching functions with the device. I can cross-reference and do other extensive manipulation fast, in a matter of few clicks.
  10. Unlimited collaborations. I can share whatever I read, my notes and links with the public via the Internet. This facilitates unlimited opportunities for collaborations of ideas, researches and writing projects which are no longer bound by geographical challenges. Share the wealth!
  11. Save the trees. Enough said!
  12. Look cool. I often get the looks and many times, people would ask me what I’m doing/reading. Always a great conversation starter!

There you have it, my one dozen reasons of using e-books. Can you think of more compelling reasons? Maybe you own e-book reading devices as well. Please share your opinions by commenting on this post.

Note that I haven’t even started writing my views on audio books (listening). Today’s post is on reading devices. In my next post, I’ll share on audio books and where I’d normally buy my e-books for both reading and listening.


  1. I prefer physical books at the same time I like the benefits of e-books. However, I’m waiting for a time when tech advances to a stage where I need not strain my eyes reading from a screen with back light and the inconvenience of a non-touch screen device- Kindle. It’s very troublesome when finding for books, highlighting, page-finding in a Kindle. But then again, it is kind to the eyes…

    • Hi. I guess with the speed of technological advances these days, you’ll have your perfect e-book reader in no time! Remember, your e-book title can be transferred from one device to another. So don’t wait to get started.

  2. I read an article on the same topic at blogger which was so poorly written, I wish I had bookmarked the address to show you for a laugh. You’ve done a great job. Keep up the good work! TSH

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  10. Ben Ruston says:

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  11. Gaynelle Scavo says:

    Could I possibly post this to one of my sites on this subject? I’d link back to the original, of course. Let me know what you think. 🙂

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