5 Reasons to Buy Ebooks Exclusively

As a kid, I never learned to love reading. But my love for reading has grown, and my transition to Ebooks has made this growth possible.

5 Reasons to Buy Ebooks Exclusively
Photo by @felipepelaquim / Unsplash

I never bought a book during my childhood. I bought candy. I bought toys. I borrowed books. But I never bought a book with my own money.

My accumulation of paper books began in college when I was required to purchase my own textbooks. Over the next 15 years, I had amassed over 500 paper books. School required many of these books. I bought some books to help me study the Bible. A few books I bought for pleasure.

10 years ago, I decided to stop buying paper books. I would only buy books in electronic form (Ebooks). No more paper books. Only Ebooks.

My wife and I still bought some picture books and workbooks for our children. But 98% of my book purchases in the last 7 years were Ebooks. I do not regret this radical decision to buy Ebooks exclusively. Let me list five reasons that influenced this change.

1. Ebooks Are Easier to Move

When I moved from Southern California to Northern California 10+ years ago, books made up 35% of the weight of my moving truck. When our family moved to our new house last summer, we moved at least 25 boxes of books, weighing about 1000 pounds.

Often I want to move some of my medical reference books from my home to work and back. Carrying a 50 pounds box of books across the parking lot from my car to my office is never fun.

Moving Ebooks cost nothing. It costs no money. It costs no time or energy. It requires no worry, headache or backache. There is no risk for injury. Conversely my 800 Ebooks in paper form would have added another 1000+ pounds to our family move last summer.

2. Ebooks Occupy Less Space

We had one bedroom closet completely full of books. Two bookshelves in our formal living room are also filled with books. In our family room, we have two built-in bookshelves, completely filled with books. We have no room for more books.

Limited space was another reason why I stopped accumulating paper books 7 years ago. My wife puts our best looking books on display in our living room. Great classic books can make great decor, but they require space.

3. Ebooks Are More Portable

Instead of carrying a heavy book to read on a bus or train, I read from my phone. Instead of hauling three large systematic theology book to my systematic theology class, I bring my 2 pound laptop or 7 inch tablet.

On my trip to Napa last weekend, I read portions of 4 different books. Each book was 200-400 pages long. If I had bought the paper editions, my carry-on would have weighed an additional 10 pounds. On my next weekend trip, I can carry hundreds of books in my 6 ounce Kindle eReader.

4. Ebooks Are More Accessible

I do not naturally love reading. Reading requires work and discipline. Only when books are easily accessible do I tend to read. Fortunately, Ebooks are far more accessible than paper books.

At an IMAX theater waiting for Star Wars to begin, I read two chapters on my phone. I would never dream of bringing a paper book into a movie theater.

I flew to Hong Kong twice last year. I booked my first flight with less than 24 hours notice. I didn’t have time to pack any books in my backpack. At the airport, I downloaded two Ebooks on my phone that I wanted to read. I finished both books during my flight to Hong Kong.

One or two days a week, I take a 30 minute lunch break to read in my medical office. I can browse through hundreds of Ebooks in my current library, or I can download a new Ebook instantly from my local library or through Amazon Prime.

5. Ebooks Are Less Expensive

An eReader will cost more than most individual books. But books in electronic form are generally cheaper. Most new releases are less expensive in their electronic format.

Ebooks are discounted frequently. I read a lot of Christian books, and Christian books are usually discounted 1-3 years after initial publication. Because these books are often “evergreen” and timeless, they are still worth reading months or years after the initial publication date.

Many Ebooks can be borrowed for free. My local library lends great new releases in Kindle and EPub format. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, at no additional cost you can choose to read from over 1 million books.

Sometimes, my wife and I will read a book together. In paper format, we would need two copies. With Ebooks, we just purchase one copy, and we can both read on our individual eReaders at the same time.

We need to pay a financial premium to get a book in paper form. Unless the book will be displayed in my living room, it makes little sense to me to spend the extra money.

Where to Buy Ebooks?

I buy Ebooks occasionally from an independent author or publisher. Most of the time, I purchase my Ebooks from two sources.


Your Ebooks are only as secure as the company you buy it from. If you buy an eBook from a company that goes out of business, you will eventually lose the ability to read your eBook. Your physical books are not secure either. One fire or flood can destroy your entire library of physical books.

Three local Barnes & Noble bookstores have gone out of business in the last 5 years. There’s a good chance they won’t be around for much longer. So I don’t buy Ebooks from Barnes & Noble.

I think Amazon has a good chance of staying in business during my lifetime. So I have decided to buy most of my Ebooks from Amazon. I like the flexibility of reading from my Kindle, my phone, my tablet or my laptop/desktop computer.

Some might choose to purchase from Google or Apple instead. I buy some technical textbooks from Apple since colored diagrams look much better through Apple’s iBook compared to Amazon’s Kindle.

Logos Bible Software (FaithLife)

I purchase my commentaries and Bible references from Logos Bible Software. Originally founded in 1992 by two former Microsoft employees, Logos Bible Software has been around for a long time.

They have the largest collection of Bible Study tools and references, and they continue to improve their application software. Of all the Bible Study software companies, Logos has the most secure future.

I buy Christian living books at Amazon, but I prefer to buy my commentaries, bible dictionaries, Greek grammars and theology references through Logos.

Final Thoughts

My wife still prefers the feel of a physical book. There is no substitute for turning a page and feeling the texture of paper. The readability of paper is still unmatched by digital screens, but today’s eInk screens are surprisingly close.

As a kid, I never learned to love reading. But my love for reading has grown, and my transition to Ebooks has made this growth possible.