Switching to e-books, sort of
I've never been a fan of e-books. I don't have trouble reading large articles on the web though, or even entire chapters of books (usually example chapters provided by publishers) in Adobe Reader. It's not so much the reading on a monitor that I don't like, but more the idea that you buy a book, you read it and then you don't have a used slot on your bookshelf to show for it. But that's not all, I sometimes like to take a really good book with me when I have some travelling to do and I usually pick technical books for that. It's probably doable to read e-books on a PDA, but I don't use one and don't know if I'd enjoy reading from such a device. It's probably about perspective: if you don't associate books with your computer, then you simply don't want them to mix too much.
Anyway, I did make the switch a couple of weeks ago, but decided that instead of switching to e-books completely, I've switched completely in a single category of books: technical books on subjects that will lose relevance relatively quickly. The first e-book I bought is Foundations of AJAX by Ryan Asleson and Nathaniel Schutta, published by APress. Not that I feel that this book will lose relevance quickly, but I don't suspect I'll dig it up a couple of years from now, simply because either AJAX will be something of the past by then, or if it's not, then everything around it will have evolved so much that the book will be fairly useless anyway. By that time I'll expect to still have a look through Design Patterns however, as well as Refactoring. So they'll remain on my physical bookshelf.
The e-book experience is actually quite good: APress basically lets you download a full PDF file as well as seperate PDFs of each chapter. When you open it up you have to enter your e-mail as a password (to prevent you from spreading the file) and every other page there's a subtle serial number visible through the text (in case you start spreading lots of printed copies I suppose). The good thing is that you can easily print a couple of chapters and that the text is now fully searchable when you need the book as a reference. Anyone care to share his experiences with other publishers' e-books?