December 13, 2010 08:00 ET

Do eBooks Make Better Gifts Than Paper Books?

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - December 13, 2010) - Have the people on your Christmas list told you they wanted a certain book as a gift? If you know they own an electronic book reader such as a Kindle, are you going to go the "21st century" route and buy them an eBook or do you need something to wrap to put under the tree?

If the friend or family member requesting a certain title owns an eReader like the Kindle, an eBook may seem like a good cheap way to go. However, that's usually not the case, says, Kristy Welsh of

"There are advantages to both electronic books and paper books. On the plus side for electronic books, a consumer can literally have hundreds of books at their fingertips on an eReader, a compact and very mobile option," says Welsh. "However, the used paperback market can make the paper version much cheaper than its electronic cousin. There's no such thing as a 'used' eBook. For instance, a used paperback version of 'Eat, Pray, Love' costs $3.38 used from Amazon. The Kindle version costs $12.99."

If you do go the eBook route, you might consider a more universal file format such as Adobe Acrobat PDFs vs. the Kindle format, which is limited to Kindle software. Most eReaders can read any PDF, including the Kindle, tablet computers, smart phones and laptops.

Final recommendations for the literary fans on your list: buy the used paper version of the book you want -- it's both traditional and cost effective. If you want to go the electronic route, Welsh suggests buying the book in the PDF version and burning the file to a CD -- it's still a "wrap-able" gift and will give your loved one the most options in which to read the book. Of course, you can always go the gift card route, allowing the beneficiary of your holiday spirit to choose the book version they want.

Founded in 1997, is a free one-stop destination for consumers looking for free advice on repairing and rebuilding bad credit. offers several books for holiday stocking stuffers on its website, including Good Credit Is Sexy, a tongue-in-cheek guide to managing your credit.

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