February 9th, 2007


E-books vs paper

Two formats, each with pros and cons. I'm not sure which I should be looking for.
E-books are great as a commodity. You can find them, buy them, download them, read them. 24 hours, 7 days a week, it's like a 7-11 of words on your computer. Best of all, no trees were harmed in the consumption process.
There is a big con though: you can't pass them on to friends. Palm reader is locked to your name and credit card. And there are big copy right violations about printing (if you can) and distributing.

This is the big plus of paper. You can read the book, pass it to a friend, and talk it over. Books are like clothes, ending up mixed up amongst friend's shelves. Each book is like a little voyager, being passed from person to person, or read and re-read and cherished.

Another plus of paper is that it's better for pictures. Most e-books on the market don't reproduce figures that come with the text, or the actual viewing of included images is an ordeal. So non-fiction or descriptive texts still fall under the paper category.

I wouldn't mind not sharing if I could easily afford to buy a copy for a friend. E-books so far, are about the same price as the paper versions, unless you're lucky enough to get them on sale. I guess the customer base is distinct enough for each format to warrant the current circumstances. E-books allow for short stories to be sold at market price, a dollar a pop, and are ideal for time pressed readers who benefit from the vending machine ease of purchase. Paper remains the ideal choice for more social bookites who voraciously devour their fiction and need to trade for more.