He's got the results up. You can go see for yourself what online science readers say about where they get their news, and what they're willing to pay for it.
Carl expressed surprise at how few respondents were willing to buy eBooks:
But the science reader also reads a lot of books. Books made of paper, that is, not electronic ink. That pattern may change if e-readers get better, but probably not anytime soon.
I buy a lot of paper books. I can't stand eBooks, and generally, the idea of eBooks in their current form for the following reasons:
1. Excessive control: That story about Amazon reaching in and deleting copies of 1984 from people's Kindles turned me off of Amazon's eBook business model in a big way. That may have been a freak occurrence, but technologically, your Kindle is open to meddling by Amazon. Nobody from Borders comes into my house and takes back books I bought. I bought them, I can sell them, I can lend them out, they're mine. That doesn't seem to be the case when I by an eBook... which leads me to
2. They are a ripoff - they cost as much or almost as much as the print copy. Publishers and retailers are saving money on printing, distribution, employing sales staff, etc. and yet the price is still basically the same. Plus, as I just mentioned, you don't even get to own your eBook in the way you own a print book. You can't easily transfer your eBooks from one brand of reader to another, you can't loan it out, etc.
3. The reading experience generally sucks, compared to paper books. I have not been impressed by any of the eReader screens I've played around with. They just aren't as great as reading a paper book. The Kindle screen is so bad that my tiny iPod Touch, with its high resolution screen, offers a better reading experience in my opinion.
So what would have to happen before I start buying eBooks? They have to get cheaper, your purchase shouldn't be tied to just a single device, manufacterd by the same company that owns the store (and I hate this about Apple's iPods too, even though I like my device), and the reading experience needs to be better.
Until then, I'm sticking with print books.
Having said all that, there are a bunch of free, public domain eBooks out there, all of the great older classics, and free eReader apps for your computer and iPod/iPhone/Blackberry/Droid. At that price and freedom, I read eBooks.
Read the feed: