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Coding Horror: Books: Bits vs. Atoms

Books “suck” as Jeff Atwood explains in this post. But ebooks “suck” just as well.

I adore words, but let’s face it: books suck.

More specifically, so many beautiful ideas have been helplessly trapped in physical made-of-atoms books for the last few centuries. How do books suck? Let me count the ways:

  • They are heavy.
  • They take up too much space.
  • They have to be printed.
  • They have to be carried in inventory.
  • They have to be shipped in trucks and planes.
  • They aren’t always available at a library.
  • They may have to be purchased at a bookstore.
  • They are difficult to find.
  • They are difficult to search within.
  • They can go out of print entirely.
  • They are too expensive.
  • They are not interactive.
  • They cannot be updated for errors and addendums.
  • They are often copyrighted.

    What’s the point of a bookshelf full of books other than as an antiquated trophy case of written ideas trapped in awkward, temporary physical relics?

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