Friday, February 18, 2011

Books v. e-Readers

I was always one of those book purists who had no interest in getting an electronic reader. . . until I got an iPad last year.  Now I'm that person who accosts strangers on a plane to tell them how great it is to read e-books ("You can look words up in the dictionary!  You can search for the first time a character comes up!"), as they slowly inch away from me.  I still like to read old-style books, but I have a feeling they may go the way of vinyl records someday.  So here's my take on Books v. E-Readers, told in comic form.  I'm sure there are plenty more arguments each way, and I'd love to hear your views.

(Click on the image to enlarge it)

Cartoon about relative merits of books and e-readers


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8 comments:

  1. very interesting!!! I'm in the doubt.... nw I preferr paper-books but... never say never!!!
    I will buy one for my brother: he wolk alwais with very thick and heavy books on the way to the university... it would be easier with something lighter...
    thank you for your comment in my blog!!!

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  2. Hmm, another point in favor of real books: allow you to subtly advertise your intellectual prowess to all around you...

    [or is that a point against...?]

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    1. Good point. I've heard that romance books have taken off since ebooks, probably because people are no longer embarrassed to be seen with them on the subway.

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  3. Three important points you forgot in e-readers' favor: You can carry your entire library with you; you can buy basically any book you want at any time and have it nearly instantly; and ebooks are generally cheaper.

    That said, you left out the way you can use books to decorate your apartment (my bookshelf is the center of my apartment) and how ebooks just don't quite work yet for a lot of really important kinds of books, like cookbooks (who wants to bring a $500 device into the kitchen near a bubbling pot of tomato sauce?).

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    1. Good points. I have a few points in favor of eBooks:

      1- No shipping costs for eBooks

      2- eBooks are more green: no dead trees, no carbon emissions in shipping, storing and destroying.

      3- When moving books from one country to another there is custom duty and censorship in some cases

      4- Availability: physical books may get sold out or go out of print, while eBooks won't.

      5- Things you cannot easily do in physical books: highlight and annotate repeatedly, share notes and book positions on social media, see what people are highlighting in their books, look up word definitions, etc.

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    2. All great points...you guys have given me enough material to do another comic. About the green-ness of ebooks, there's a great site that has looked at the debate, and it's not totally clear, once you think about the carbon footprint of creating an ipad or Kindle and thinking about how long an average person keeps one (http://www.ecolibris.net/ebooks.asp).

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I still love holding a paper book, but I prefer being able to carry many books on my reader. More convenient and there are tons of free books to read, too.

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    1. It's interesting how I'm more likely to read a random free ebook than I am to go to a library and pick up a random book (usually I know what I want when I go to a library for a real book).

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