Browsing through eBooks vs. real books

The vast selection of used books in the basement of After-words bookstore makes me appreciate being able to discover books. But it also makes me aware that I don’t purchase physical books anymore.

I enjoy the experience of reading books on my iPhone so much that I rarely pick up a real book to read. I love the concept of being able to share my notes with other people. But with eReaders there’s the lack of being able to browse the text in a physical bookstore. Sure, Amazon offers free “samples” of many eBooks, but often the samples are limited to the first XX pages which often include just the table of contents, forewards, copyrights, and credits. By the time the sample gets to the actual content of the book, the sample has ended. Plus, right now, it just isn’t as easy to browse through eBooks as it is at a bookstore.

Sure you can do search much better. But the actual act of flipping through the pages, grabbing actual random paragraphs. You can’t do that with eBooks… OR CAN YOU?

With the Kindle website, you see a book’s most popular highlights. So not only are you getting little snippets of the book, you are getting what dozens of people said are the best snippets. Not what the publisher is telling you. Not what a book reviewer is telling you, but actual readers.

Now if Amazon would just make their kindle website more friendly and social to browse through.

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