That eBook Thing Will Never Catch On

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of the Amazon Kindle 2. However, whenever I write about it (as I did recently here and here), I always have someone who says, “I will never convert to an eBook reader. I just love the feel of a book in my hands.”

someone holding the amazon kindle 2 in their hand

I totally understand that sentiment, but imagine this:

  • In 1442, “I will never get used to a book. It doesn’t feel right. I just love the experience of unrolling a scroll and the beauty of hand-written words.” Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type and the mechanical printing press in 1439.
  • In 1881, “I will never convert to electric lights. It just isn’t natural. I love the smell of candles and the flickering of the light.” Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb in 1879.
  • In 1916, “I will never buy an automobile. It’s too dangerous. I just love of the feel of a buggy and the sound of the horse’s hoofs against the road.” Henry Ford began mass producing cars in 1914.

You may never convert to an eBook reader, but what about your children or grandchildren. I’m just sayin.’

Question: What about you? What would it take for you to convert?
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  • susie finney

    For me the big thing is price.  I have a pretty tight budget right now.  I love regular books, but having an e-reader would be wonderful, since I live in a pretty small room and already have more books than I have room for!

    • John Tiller

      True, Susie! The only present that I ask from my family for my birthday and Christmas is Amazon gift cards. I load them up and then order books to my Kindle whenever I want them. It saves space, it saves money, and it’s super-easy to get a book when I want it!

  • Rob Sorbo

    I’ve grown fonder and fonder of my Kindle. I still do like the feel of a book, but the Kindle has so many features that books don’t have (like, text to speech!).

  • Joel Acevedo

    I felt same way and even though I like the feel of a book Iam
    Hooked on my Nook. When I travel I take my library with me
    And the E reader gives you access to do many other things, I can read, go online, listen to music
    Watch movies and not have to drive to book store cause everything is at my
    Convenience .

  • apreachaskid

    I was one of those people who thought that they would never convert. That was until I started reading PDF files on my computer and thinking to myself how great it would be to take them with me. Once I had installed a Kindle reader on my Blackberry, there was no doubt that having a fully functional tablet for on the go was the way to go. I love the accessibility of an eBook. I’ll always tout the benefits of a print book, but the benefits of being about to carry a virtual library through an eReader is definitely worth its weight in gold.

  • Kathryn Turney

    I remember when I received a company issued Sony Reader while working at Simon and Schuster. I was told that this is where publishing was going. I, like many of the other responders to your blog, did not like it and did not want anything to do with it. I have continually resisted for several years. But…now that I have reset my career path due to the state of employment in the publishing industry and am back in school, I am trying to rethink it. I can buy the digital version of my textbook for 50% less than a traditional textbook. That is quite a savings and a Kindle would pay for itself in one semester for me. Wow…did I just talk myself into ending my boycott? While I’ll never get rid of my favorite signed first editions and childhood favorites intended for my children and grandchildren. I am gradually warming up to the idea.

  • Goetz Mueller

    I love books, having a complete wall covered with them.

    However, I’ve started to listen to audio books as this opens even more opportunities, e.g. while commuting, mowing the lawn and other things where the hands are need. I’m reading ebooks since a couple of months as they also provide new options, on the iPhone while waiting in a line etc. and they perfectly synchronize the actual position on the different reading devices. And they need almost no space which is to me even more important than the reduced price.

  • Paul Alan Clifford

    For self-published authors like me, ebooks are great.  In the last two days, I’ve given away 504 copies of my book, The Serving Church, as a part of Kindle direct publishing.  My enemy isn’t piracy; it’s obscurity.  I’ve noticed that the more I give away, the more I sell.  Since each electronic copy doesn’t cost anything, I can give away hundreds or thousands with no problem.  ( if you want a free copy before the end of 2/15/2013)


  • John Gassen

    Michael, I have a Kindle, but find I don’t read much on it because people still swap books with me. My backlog of books is large enough that I rarely pick up my Kindle. I really thought I would read more with the Kindle, but that hasn’t been the case.

  • Rebecca C

    I used to think that I’d never convert. My mom has been a Kindle devotee since the first one came out. She finally convinced me to give it a try when the Kindle Keyboard came out a few years back.

    It worked. I’m a huge fan of ebooks (specifically Kindles, love e-ink screens) now. While there is still nothing like being able to hold a book in your hands, there is nothing like the convenience of carrying hundreds of books in my purse at once. We still have our guest room converted into a library full of paper books, but we also have 2 Kindle Touches and a Keyboard.

  • Ken Zimmerman Jr.

    I felt the same way about social media once but I have learned that you have to adapt to the times. The world is constantly changing and extremely quickly. Kodak almost went out of business because they did not grasp the revolution caused by the digital camera. I said the same thing about liking to hold an actual book but my last three book purchases were all e-books.

  • Michael

    Wow, surprised to see this one recirculated today:) I wonder how much the public sentiment has shifted since you first posted this. My guess is you may not still be pointing to your K2 as your device d’jour. Tablets have overtaken the e-reader market, mobile is dominant and with the ever-increasing spread of fiber-based connectivity, completely interactive, always connected households are only months away from nearing early-adopter phase. What say ye?

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yea, I posted this four years ago. Wow. Time flies.

      I am currently using an iPad Mini. However, I use the Kindle app.

      Interestingly, e-books seem to have flattened out—almost no growth last year. We may have reached a steady-state. It’s come much earlier than I anticipated with much less saturation than I expected.
      I probably need to do a follow-up. Thanks.

      • Michael

        Look forward to it. eBooks have flattened for many, true that. But, will people gravitate to new content forms, is there anything to the curation idea (Amazon and others don’t do this well). Hope you’re well.

  • Janine Joi

    I may do it. Been toying with the idea. However I have a Lenova thinkpad tablet, so need to use that. However. I have a lot of books that are not in ebook format. If i could get all my books in ebook format, I’d do it. as it is, I’m on book buying restriction, ditto blankets, dishes, just about anything. [my own doing]