The E-book Skeptic

An independent bookseller, the ebook skeptic has been involved in the book business for more than 30 years. He loves books, but as a long-time student of history knows that things change. Something better comes along, and the old ways fall by the wayside.


But when something comes along that is demonstrably worse than what it is trying to replace, yet the conventional wisdom nevertheless holds that this new technology is the inevitable wave of the (none too distant) future, it leads the ebook skeptic to wonder just what is going on.


The ebook skeptic became interested in this subject when one of his wife's PhD students wrote a dissertation comparing the use of an interactive web site and a printed pamphlet to deliver health education information to teenage girls. You can guess what this study found--the findings are referenced on this site. But the superiority of paper wasn't what my wife's student expected to find--a common element in a number of the studies cited here. Indeed, a close reading of these studies gives the impression that the researchers are often embarrassed by their findings. In the age of the internet, it's not cool to find that digital is dumber.


When he is not expressing skepticism about ebooks, the ebook skeptic goes by the name of Tom Campbell and he is the co-owner of The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, NC. Contact him at


N. B. The views expressed on this web site are solely those of the ebook skeptic. They are not necessarily the views of anyone else at The Regulator Bookshop, nor are they necessarily the views of anyone else at the American Booksellers Association, where the ebook skeptic is a member of the board of directors.