Okay, that's a bit over-dramatic, but you get what I mean. Now, don't get me wrong -- eBook readers, such as the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook are great, especially if you travel a lot. They can hold thousands of books at a time, they have excellent battery life, and it's really easy to find the book you're looking for, thanks to search options. Plus, I'm a huge advocate of technology in general -- so why don't I like eBook readers? Here are a few reasons:
1. eBooks are Expensive
I know -- you can get tons of eBooks for super cheap or even for free. But the reality is that most eBooks are priced right around the MSRP of their physical twins -- and they really shouldn't be. After all, an eBook has virtually no production costs, right? Meanwhile, real books are getting cheaper and cheaper, because bookstores keep going out of business.
2. Real Books Have Excellent Battery Life
Okay, so the latest Amazon Kindle with Wi-Fi has one month of battery life, based on half an hour of reading each day. The Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch has two months of battery life, based on one hour of reading per day. Every book I have ever picked up has FOREVER battery life. Even if I accidentally drop them in the water while I'm taking a bath.
3. Libraries Are Awesome
|This is about 1/6 of my book collection. Check out those pretty color-coded shelves!|
Public libraries and private libraries are awesome, and a heck of a lot more attractive than one digital eBook reader.
4. You Don't Really Own eBooks
Penguin recently pulled a bunch of its eBooks from local libraries, because it was afraid of potential piracy. You know what that means -- if Penguin can pull eBooks from local libraries...it can probably pull eBooks from your personal eBook library, as well. Imagine what could happen if the "powers that be" suddenly decide that a book is controversial or "dangerous" and all we have are digital copies...
5. Digital Books Promote Illiteracy
Hear me out on this one. When I get sick of a book, or I need to clear some space on my shelf, or I happen to have two copies of the same book, what do I do?
I donate my extra books to my local library, or to charity. That way, other people -- for example, underprivileged kids or people who can't afford to buy books at full retail -- are able to enjoy them. For example, the Salvation Army near my house offers 50 percent off books (and other items) on every third Friday of the month. That means that you can pick up paperback books for about $0.35 each.
But with eBooks there is no "extra stock." When you get sick of an eBook, or you no longer need it in your library...you delete the file. Nobody else gets to enjoy that eBook, unless they go purchase it for themselves at full retail price (unless they happen upon a sale, of course). The Salvation Army doesn't take digital donations, as far as I know.