I can tell you from first hand experience that the reading experience is very different on each of the different mediums and that’s why the distinction matters to me. I don’t care which version you bought because it changes what you read, but I do care because it may not be the same as the book I read (sometimes in the minor content differences, but always in experience and layout).
I disagree. Many people romanticize the experience of reading a printed book, but I just don’t get it.
When I start reading, the form of the book quickly disappears. Just as I don’t notice the individual letters in each word, I stop noticing the layout, the font, the paper, the binding, and every other physical artifact because I’m focused on the writing.
The same effect hides most flaws in e-ink readers, as I noted in my Kindle 4 review:
Honestly, once I got into what I was reading, I forgot about the cheap, crappy page-turn buttons and the tacky ads on the sleep screen. Even the distorted unblinked text isn’t very noticeable when you’re engrossed in a book.
Whether I’ve bought a book made of dead trees or encrypted bits doesn’t really matter, and I don’t think my experience suffers when I choose the bits.
Since I don’t think the distinction matters, I rarely need to say “I bought the Steve Jobs book in iBooks,” or “I bought the Steve Jobs book on my Kindle.”
I just say, “I bought the Steve Jobs book.”