Analog + Digital

I buy a lot of books.  I find it impossible to browse the web and not stumble upon a book that looks worth reading. For instance, this one. Until recently,  I didn't think use an e-reader so I always just bought paper books without thinking about it. I love having books on my bookshelf - even just seeing the bindings is inspiring and reminds me of things.   Just the other day while on a phone call,  I needed ideas for smart internet thinkers we should invite to an upcoming event.   So I just looked down at my bookshelf and - bam - got some ideas. So having paper books isn't just about being able to read them.  It's about having them around. But I actually prefer reading e books.  Especially now that I have a galaxy s3 phone and a nexus 7 on my bedstand. So now I'm stuck. When I want to buy a book,  what should I do?  Buy the paper version,  so I can "have it"?  Or buy the e version so I can read it? I want both.   But it seems crazy to buy it twice,  paying full price each time. Here's what I would love to see: When I buy a paper book,  give me the ebook version (in an open, portable format like ePub) for free.   Or,  charge me for it,  but make it cheaper.   I'd gladly pay an extra $3 for an ePub file in addition to my $12.99 paper book purchase price. I haven't done this myself, but I know you can do this in some cases w vinyl records and mp3s. Even better,  I'd love to be able to show proofs of purchase (or better yet, proof of posession)  of paper books I already have,  and use that to get a cheap or free ePub copy. Something like this just seems to make sense.   I know it exists already in some sectors and for some kinds of books,  but I'd love to see this become the norm for everything.   If it were,  I'd read more,  and perhaps more importantly,  I'd buy more.

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