Sample chapters: much better than browsing shelves and reading first paragraphs.
Review sites: I bought my first ebook (and a Kindle) based on a review by Marion Sipe on GoodBookAlert (http://goodbookalert.blogspot.com/ ). After reading her review and sampling the book, I realized I was missing out on good writing if I didn't immediately buy an ebook reader. (Marion, you should get a cut from Kindle). The book, a bargain at 99 cents, was Ice Blue, a cleverly written mystery by Emma Jameson. My second ebook purchase was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, a young adult novel featured by Mooderino in a blog post analyzing the first chapter. (http://moodywriting.blogspot.com/). Thanks, Mood—I not only liked the book, I learned a lot. Third was The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarity. I can't remember where I found this one, maybe Kindleboards. Price--one cent. Can you believe that even at one cent, I downloaded the sample before purchasing? Loved the book. A few days later I saw its price had risen to something like $5.35. If the one-cent price was a marketing scheme to raise the book quickly in the Amazon rankings, it worked.
The ebook reader itself: easy on the eyes, wonderful for one who gets eyestrain from too many hours staring at a computer screen. Like the words to that old song…"lovely to look at, delightful to hold, and heaven to [substitute "read"]. Thanks, Diane, for the red leather cover.
Ebook hunting: I might be able to pay more but I love to pay less. I love the fact that many authors are independently publishing at prices that are good for them as well as for buyers. (Authors get a small cut of traditionally published books.) Unless it's a book I think I must have, I'm bypassing ebooks over $5, especially if I can buy a cheaper used copy in excellent condition. Of course, no money goes to author or publisher that way...publishers, pay attention!
Textbooks: Much as I love glossy, gorgeous textbooks, I look forward to the day when learners from primary school to college will not have to lug around pounds and pounds of books. This will not be good for textbook printers, but hopefully the prices will be good for everyone.
Magazines and newspapers: I'm not there yet, but I think the honeymoon will last.