- They are mainly used online so why the artificial page constraints? I'm in the middle of a topic and all of a sudden there is a page break--not because of a topical shift but because had it been printed on 8.5 x 11 we would have run out of paper. News flash: I didn't print it and I was not running out of paper.
- Don't hand me that "search online and then print what you want to read malarkey." If that was the plan, there would be only one set of page numbers, not a "paper" page number and an "electronic" page number that make me guess which one the printer dialog box is asking for. I know you can match them up, but most writers don't; it violates "good book design" to start counting at the beginning. That's why we all know that if the page number is a Roman numeral, there is no useful content on that page.
- They are laid out as if they were going to be printed--and printed in duplex at that! If the company is too cheap to print, then at least make it easy for Joe Schmoe to print and stop with the recto/verso page layouts.
- They carry so much book overhead: book front cover pages, book back cover pages, inside cover pages, chapter cover pages. It takes me three clicks to get to a topic that actually says something.
- There are too many of them and they are named after obscure roles--none of which describe me. I've never met a system administrator, never saw the job title anywhere I worked, yet there are a bazzilion guides out there written for that person. I always suspect that what I need is scattered across three different guides. Give me a single source where I can ask my question once and get all my possible results.
- They just scream, "Books are what I know how to write; books are what you get."
User books died; if they had value in that form, companies would still print them and users would buy them. Yet PDFs still hang around like pathetic home town sports fans after the team has moved to the West Coast. Quintus in The Gladiator says "A people ought to know when they've been defeated." PDFs should get the wake-up call.
[Yes, I quoted The Gladiator. It's one of my favorite movies; you might want to take that into consideration when deciding how much credibility to give my opinions.]