Book piracy or a step towards buying a hardcopy?

coffee_compBeing a Computer Engineering student once I had my share of downloading ebooks and reading them every now and then. But in my personal experience I have seen that people almost always end up buying the hardcopies of the books which they really enjoy reading or need to read due to some particular course. Right now I am following my MS course through a distance program along with thousands of other working guys like me. When the semester started I was overwhelmed by the exchange of information on where to buy the hardcopy of the books, cheapest price available etc. and I believe almost all the students bought copies of the texts and some of the references. I took a membership in the British Library for getting the texts as well as other reference material. I think the digital copy of a book should be considered a copy of the information available in the hardcopy that a person can check out before buying the actual book. I have even seen guys who used to depend on library books, online lectures, notes and Google for their academics buy hardcopies of the novels they want to read. In my experience a digital copy of a book is the first step towards inducing a liking in the readers’ mind which leads to the purchase of a hardcopy. If the reader doesn’t like the book he may not buy it but I think a reader should have that choice of freedom. I don’t believe someone interested in Shakespeare, Tagore or Milton will be content with the digital copies of their works. When academic books related to Science (to some extent) and Engineering are considered, same or better and a lot more information is readily available on the internet.

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