Mendo Island Journal — Timely. Useful. Sometimes Cranky.

Ebooks vs. Paper Books…

In Books on August 2, 2012 at 7:14 am

From greengeekgirl
Insatiable Booksluts

I have to admit that, when the Kindle first came out, I was one of those snooty assholes who did everything I could to antagonize the people I knew who owned them. (Me? Antagonize people? Surely not.) “I like books,” I sniffed, looking solidly down my nose. “I don’t want to read on a device. I want the feel of paper, blah blah blah.”

In my defense, the people I antagonized started scuffles just as often. “My Kindle is environmentally friendly. Look at those loads of paper you’re wasting! You’re helping deplete the ozone! And it’s so handy. I can take an entire library with me anywhere, blah blah blah.”

Several years passed, and I remained firmly in the treebook camp. Until I bought a Kindle. Stars help me, I love my Kindle. I love it so much. I even prefer to read on my Kindle; still, I do enjoy reading paper books, too. I got a really lovely copy of a book from Two Dollar Radio that’s deckle-edged and fairly swoon-worthy…

See complete article here
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  1. My comment is that I just love your writing… you could write about anything and everything and Id be poised to read you.. such fun and laughter and vulnerability and confessional and literate!!! yes and love oozes from each line or page…. can I repost it to our site? hopedance.org

  2. What I miss about e-books is being able to loan them to friends.

  3. If I own a paper book I generally will read it because it sits there and scowls at me. I tried an e-book reader. I am not against them, my family loves them; they just don’t work very well for me. I can go back to a paper book and reread/scan it aided by a memory of about where I had previously seen something, end, middle, etc. I did consider accepting a Nook for xmas but I got a Kindle instead, which was embarrassing since I have a strong commitment against Amazon for their political activities. I gave it to my daughter who gave her old Kindle to my grandson who is not a committed e-book reader. At nine he is a little young to expect him to understand my boycott of Amazon. Frankly, this so called debate is sort of off, as in smells rotten. It is to my view part of the assault of the wealthy against the rest of us. Increasingly we are what we own and all public shared resources, such as libraries, are being destroyed. Meanwhile folks read and read and read and do not think.

    herb

  4. In a world where everything is inexpensive or free and everyone has enough food to eat and a decent place to live, the downloading of books and music and art for little or nothing makes perfect sense. However, this discussion of e-books versus real books misses the sad truth that the new download technologies have almost entirely eliminated the means by which most of the creators of books and music and art used to make their livings. The author of this piece agrees that e-books are still too expensive and hopes prices will fall soon, thus revealing he cannot be a writer dependent on the sale of his books, e or otherwise, to make ends meet. All of my books are or soon will be available as e-books of the “still too expensive” kind (over five dollars), and even if these e-book versions of my work were to sell many thousands of copies (highly unlikely), I would not make much money because the writer/musician/artist, historically given little by publishers, is given even less for his or her digitally gettable creations. This is not a complaint—culture evolves as it will—but rather information the reader of books in any form might find of interest as he or she embraces the new digital download technologies that, for the time being, are contributing mightily to the swift extinction of quality and originality and the ability of artists to make their livings as artists.

  5. If the book is a quick read, time filler, throw away, then by all means use e-book. A major proportion of landfills consists of waste paper that decomposes into the virulent greenhouse gas methane. Save a tree, save a climate. On the other hand, if the book has more lasting value to you, buy the print one; best, buy a recycled hand one. Almost all the books I purchase are such. Quite often, they become working tools, have underlines and notes in the back, and are regularly referenced if only by seeing them on the shelf and remembering. For this, print is indispensable. I do not nor, I swear, will I ever purchase an e-book reader, but then this old ex-high tech engineer has a very low opinion of high tech in general.

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