Let the Battle Begin

Booklovers get pretty protective about books. And E-bookers are as passionate about their portable e-reading devices. The following aren’t my talking points, but some of them are pretty funny (paper cuts!?), some are totally irrelevant. But they’re a pretty good summary of the back and forth (the huffing and puffing) that goes on whenever I suggest that e-books should replace p-books. I’m sure you can think of more… for both sides of the argument 🙂

Ten Reasons Why EBooks Suck from Rob Neville

• Books are incredibly portable, especially smaller paperbacks
• Books do not require batteries or any electricity to use
• Books are not fragile (at least relatively speaking in comparison to electronic gadgets)
• Books are easier on your eyes for long periods of reading (again, in comparison to LCD displays for example)
• Books are shareable and re-saleable – the only “compatibility” issue is the language it’s written in
• Books are CHEAPER. A device that costs $400??? Are you kidding me? My entire Amazon wish-list isn’t $400.
• Books have a faster operating system – I can flip pages without an hourglass or having to wait for my eyes to render the new page
• Books have better browse-ability – I can thumb through pages very quickly and can easily eyeball 1/3 of the way through a book or the last 25% of the book because the information I want was somewhere in that section.
• Books have low-tech, cheap built-in DRM – it’s a pain in the arse to copy them….doable but a pain
• I could think of more, but I’m too lazy

10 Reasons Why Paper Books Suck from Adam Boeglin

• While a single paper book is portable, when you start collecting them, the size adds up quickly.
• Paper is difficult to search through, and hard to reference. Want to quote a snippit of a book? You have to rewrite it.
• Paper degrades over time. It starts to yellow, and will eventually fall apart.
• Distribution: Looking for a specific book? Go search through your local book stores, when you don’t find it there, buy it online. Then wait for it to show up. Loose interest and/or excitement by the time it arives.
• Environment: Books are dead trees. Trees make oxygen. We breathe oxygen. The more paper books you read, the more you’re killing the rest of us.
• Portability. I’m pretty sure I have mild ADD. You might as well. When I get bored with one thing, I move on to another for a while. If I carried around all the newspapers and books I could *possibly* want to read, I’d have a bad back too.
• You look like an old person when you read paper books. Look at all the kids running around with their ipods and cell phones. Do you think you look cool reading that old fashioned stack of papers? I don’t think so…
• Paper Burns. You’ve probably read the article about the guy who’s house was declared a fire hazard because of his paper book collection. If he collected ebooks, his house would be clean and tidy, and he’d still be living there.
• Personal Injury. The edge of a sheet of paper can be as dangerous as a razor blade. When I was in grade school, I would use a sheet of paper to cut my unsuspecting friends. I bet they wished that I had an iLiad back then. You can’t get a paper cut from an ebook device. Also, ever hear the phrase “throw the book at him”? You wouldn’t do that if it was an ebook reader. You wouldn’t want to risk breaking it by throwing it at someone.
• Data integrity. If I spill something on a book, drop a match on it, or if it gets caught in a paper shredder, I’m stuck with a clump of useless wood pulp. I can’t get another copy of it without buying it again, and there’s no way to recover it. With an ebook, I can go back to where I bought it from, and simply download it again. No hassle, no fee, just a few clicks, and my collection is back.

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