Why I prefer e-books over paper books

Many people speak romantically about the joy of reading paper books. 12 years ago, I switched from having a collection of my favorite books in the paper format to e-books. And I couldn't be happier. A few caveats: I mostly read non-fiction, often highly technical.

Here are just some of the reasons I love e-books:

  • Immediacy: If a book gets mentioned in a conversation, I can look up the actual text in just about 30 seconds, rather than in a week.

  • Search: It's trivially easy to find something. This is now getting even better with vector embeddings and language models.

  • Cost: So many great books are shared for free in the digital format.

  • Links: Well-made ebooks link both within the book as well as to external resources. This encourages exploration and map buil

  • Portability: My entire book collection remains with me at all times. I never have to pick and choose among my favorites. And moving houses remains easy.

  • Flexible layout: EPUBs don't suck any more. Font size, Line height/width, Dark mode are all adjustable.

  • Ease of sharing annotated screenshots: I don't have to fumble around with the camera app anymore.

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