Friday, May 27, 2011

Read It and Weep

It was only a matter of time. Sales of e-books have surpassed sales of their print counterparts. Some say this is a travesty for the written word, while others champion the advance of technology; I choose to remain undecided.
I don’t have an e-reader (or a smartphone—I gotta save my dollars, people!), but I am not 100% against them. I can see their benefit regarding the environment and might even want one were I in the kind of job that caused me to travel a lot or that involved me taking mass transit to work.
However, as an editor, I probably spend 8–9 hours every day reading from a computer screen, so when I choose to read for pleasure, I’d rather not increase that accumulated screen time. And I know that people say that the way the e-reader screens are backlit, they are much easier on the eyes than reading from the computer. But I say, “They may not be as bad as a computer, but they are not yet as good as paper,” so I may just have to wait it out.
Additionally, I’m a big library fan, so I still get the majority of the books I read for free at my local branch. Not being able to get books for free was a huge con on my mental pro/con list of getting an e-reader, BUT THEN, when searching for the new book recently put out by one of my all-time favorite crime writers, I saw that it was ONLY available for checkout in electronic form. OMG! The library is more ahead of the times than I am. It is sad when you are outpaced by something widely suspected to be an anachronism.
Where do you come in on this issue? Am I secretly the only person with hang-ups about this?


  1. Dear EYP, I have to comment as a Kindle owner!  Though the Nook and iPad are backlit, the Kindle is not at all so of all three it is easiest on the eyes and most similar to a book (actually when I read I see no difference in it and paper).  My sister, who never can read in the car because she gets car sick, can actually read her Kindle and feels fine on those long drives. 

    I totally understand the hesitation for anyone to transition to ebooks but I have been pleasantly surprised.  Easier on my book budget (saved $83 in 24 books) but clearly not as delightful as free! 

  2. I actually won a Kindle as a door prize at a conference! I was super excited, but that was 8+ months ago and I only have 1 book on it that I haven't finished. I've had a hard time getting into it. Like Paige said (is that you Guy?) it's not back lit which is annoying when I want to stay up reading while Blake sleeps. Also, my battery dies pretty quickly. I think I prefer books. Full book shelves make for great decor :)