Books also don’t require plugging in, charging or any of that jazz. This can be a large selling point, for a lot of people. Also, for the most part, they can travel just as easily as an e-reader, especially if you don’t own an actual device. Books can also last a lot longer as there is only binding and pages to care for.
On the other hand with e-books, there is a lot to love. However, it is less about the actual e-books than it is about the audience it opens up. Authors of e-books have become more and more abundant, both self-published and those who go through more difficult channels. This is good, for both worlds – readers and authors. Authors can get their work published for much less if they choose, plus they can easily reach a broader audience as well as promote at the push of a few buttons.
For me personally, I like my mix of both worlds. I still have 100′s of real books and I still buy them as well as utilize my library. I also own a kindle application as well as a kindle (thanks Santa), and my e-book selection mimics much of my real book collection; classics, romance novels as well as a slew of other genres. I do take advantage of the lower cost e-books, and many I get for free. I really like this because I can tell from a book or so the writer’s style. If it was a good read then I pick up their other works as I can afford them.
Of course I could do this at the library too, but if you live in a small town the pickings are slim. Not to mention I wouldn’t have access to smaller or new authors that don’t have the money to shell out for real paper books. It’s not to say their books aren’t real, just not on paper!
For free e-books check out Free Books Daily, or check out Smash Words. Amazon even offers many e-books for free, and if you have a prime membership I believe you can borrow a book a month. In my opinion prime isn’t worth it for just that, but if you already have it, it’s another bonus.
If you still lean towards printed books, please support your local real bookstore. I know it’s rather simple to utilize chain stores and that is fine if there is no other option, but there is something down-right magical about small book stores.