I asked myself that for quite awhile before I bought my e-reader, pursuaded only by a sudden drop in price and a curiosity as to what all the noise was about. I've had it for a year now, and I can say truthfully that I have not touched or opened a real book since the day it arrived! I even went so far as to buy Kindle editions of the paperbacks I had already purchased but not yet read.
What happened? Well, I love books. But I don't like clutter. I will generally only read a book once – and then I donate it to the library, or the nearest charity. With my e-reader, I no longer had stacks of finished books in my garage looking for a home. Sure, ebooks on Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes and Noble (Nook) cost just as much as the paper version, and I love the ease of ordering up and jumping right into the next book in a series at 2 in the morning when I've just finished my current book.
But there's more! There are free books available for every e-reader. Amazon has them, so does Barnes and Noble. But we're not limited by those stores – we can also download ebooks from various websites like Smashwords, where ebook writers can self publish their books either to be sold, or for free. Some books are only released in an e-reader edition. And library books! Most e-readers now have the capability to interact with your local library to download a book for a particular period, just like borrowing a book from within the library itself. Not only are they free, you can give them back!
If you're over 40, you'll appreciate the ability to enlarge the font on all of these devices. I regularly keep mine enlarged a bit, but the day I had my glasses repaired, I enlarged the font to HUGE while I was waiting and was able to read comfortably.
You can get newspaper and magazine subscriptions on an e-reader – I don't know about newspapers, I think they'd be a bit small. But I've been subscribing to PC Magazine on my Kindle since they stopped publishing their print edition. Yes, I do miss leafing through the pages of the magazine – but I do like the fact that I can archive them without having to fill an entire closet with old magazines. And I like the fact that my books sync with my iPhone, iPad and computer – so if I don't happen to have my Kindle with me and I'm stuck in a waiting room at the doctor or a line at the post office, I can pull out my phone and read through the wait.
Now if I could only find a way to stop dropping it on the tile floor when I fall asleep reading!