When my book was first published it was initially only created as a paperback. My publisher did not deal with e-books (although he gave me the option of exploring that possibility myself) and I must admit I was not that fussed about creating an digital version of my novel. Although I was aware of e-readers I did not own one and had never really seen one in operation. Besides I figured that if anybody really wanted to read my book then they would buy a paperback. It didn't take me too long to realise that was not the case! In fact I soon realised that when asked if there was an e-book and I said no, rather than offering to buy a paperback many potential customers simply asked me to let them know if and when the e-book was released.
So, it soon became clear to me that an e-book was not just an added extra in the publishing world but a necessity if I wanted to grab as much market share as I could. It is amazing to be able to type in the name of a book, have it immediately appear on screen and download a preview (if not the whole book) in seconds! Something that may have taken hours or days in the past has become almost instantaneous and it's hard not to get caught up in the excitement of that. Also e-books are (generally) much cheaper than physical books, they don't deteriorate with heavy use or over time and they don't take up valuable storage space.
However, the most important thing I have come to realise is that e-books never go out of print. They are always there ready and able to be purchased by interested customers. Even the most successful of authors only have a short window of weeks or maybe months (at best) of having their book front and centre in any bookshop. There are always new books ready to fill that ever important "new release" display and without that visibility most books soon fade into obscurity. The other major advantage is in the selling process. On sites such as Amazon and iBooks, when your book sells it links in with other similar books. So when somebody who has bought your book buys another, your books can end up on a "people who bought this book also bought......." list. This list has amazing power to keep your book "current" and visible to buyers. So while sales of my paperbacks dwindle over time, sales of the e-book version continue to tick over. In fact, digital sales of my first book The Beach House are only slightly less this year (six years on) than the first year after release.
So, yes, I'm still a reading dinosaur with my paperbacks, but I'm very happy to be able to offer my books to all those who have embraced e-readers. For any authors who have decided not to bother going the e-book route I would suggest you reconsider. Even books that are several years old and currently out of print can be converted and you will quite possibly find a whole new audience for your work (especially if you have newer books available as e-books that can link to your older titles).