ebook or printed book? I asked the internet

Yesterday I took to Twitter with a question I’ve been pondering lately: Do people prefer ebooks or printed books for Web Design topics. This was in no way a scientific poll, but nonetheless I thought the results were interesting and maybe you will too.

A total of 66 people responded to my question:

Of those, 20 said they preferred ebooks outright, 34 preferred printed books, and 12 would rather have their books in both formats for the best of both worlds.

The main argument for ebooks was their portability. Hard to argue with that! Also the lower prices and lack of shipping costs were cited as well.

The majority of people said print books were easier to keep for easily referencing later. Unsurprisingly, print was preferred for books with lots of images or graphics.

I collected all the results in this Google spreadsheet if you want to take a closer look.

Feel free to comment to weigh in on the question too!

  • Jason Neel

    For me, having most of my day being dominated by time spent staring at various screens (monitor at work, iPad and TV in the evening, iPhone sprinkled in throughout the day), it’s nice to get away from that and look at a printed page. This is especially true I’ve found with long-form reading.

    Having both electronic and printed, though, is nice. Say I read the print edition cover-to-cover, but want to reference something I Iearned later on while working on a project. Having the ability to pull up the e-book on my mobile device is always very handy. This is why I tend to buy both versions when it’s an option, especially with things like A Book Apart books.

    Just my 2¢ worth!

  • For technical books I think it’s the best of both worlds to have paper & paperless copy. You study and focus on paper and develop and hack with the digital when you’re at the computer.
    So 1 purchase, 2 items … one real, one digital.
    For me it’s THE winning approach.