My Thoughts on “The Disappearing Book”

A lot of people have asked me my thoughts about the possible “disappearance” of physical books, due to the fact there are all the different eReaders people are now reading on: the Kindle, the iPad, the Nook, and others.

In the following video and transcript, I share some thoughts:

The first thing I say to people is that the book is not disappearing; it’s taking another form. These ebooks are still books. You still read them. Physically, you don’t have a tangible book in your hand, but what some people discover is that they’re reading more because it is so convenient and lightweight for them to have dozens or even hundreds of books on their eReader. I’ve got a Kindle, and I love it.

Now the majority of the books I read are still physical books. That’s because I do a lot of underlining and a lot of notations in the margins. Yes, you can underline in a Kindle and actually type in little notes, but it’s really not built for that. So I love physical books, but I also love ebooks. I’ve got some friends who find themselves reading books much more now because of the convenience of always having it with them. They just love it. You can adjust the font, and you don’t have to have reading glasses if that’s an issue for you.

Another thing that I love about the Kindle (and the same is true of other eReaders), is that you can download audio onto them. So I go to and get a lot of great novels (as well as non-fiction) on audio. I love listening to them. Sometimes I just listen to them in the background.

I actually think that some people are reading more because of ebooks. And listening to an audiobook is a good and convenient form of reading. So to be honest, I’m really not afraid of the reading of physical books disappearing. I think it’s a huge part of human history and of our culture.

My advice is, take books in whatever form you love. There’s something about the feel, the heft, even the smell sometimes of an old book that I just love. But I also enjoy reading ebooks.

The most important thing is this: READ.

How do you like to read? Printed books? An eReader? A tablet? Audiobooks?

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries