books (Photo credit: brody4)



After defending my friendly neighborhood e-reader last time, I must speak now for the other side. In the interest of balance. For all of you out there who are hanging in suspense, desperate to know what I think in the great paper versus pixel battle.




The kindle is obviously more portable than thousands of books, but it’s not much more portable than your average paperback, which is all most of us need at one time. It saves shelf space, but who doesn’t like the look of shelves and shelves of books? Ah, and the smell of the paper. And the wonderful yellowing with older books. It’s much easier to hold than a big hardcover, but it’s much less resilient when, say, knocked out of your hands by a climbing two-year-old. I speak from experience here. And while books don’t always fare well when walked on by children (it shocks me how kids go out of the way to step on a book they’ve thrown on the floor), they’re also more easily repaired with good ole scotch tape. I would never read my kindle in the bath, in the pool, or on the beach. And its presence in the background of my parenting doesn’t have the passive positive effect of shelves full of books. So, I’m not saying that I don’t see the point that the nay-sayers make when they swear they’d never touch an e-reader for as long as paper exists. I get it.




And then there’s this case of Amazon wiping a woman’s kindle, along with a few others in the past.


And this dispute between libraries and publishers over e-books.




I hope all the sticky rights issues get worked out soon. And I hope it gets worked out in a way that doesn’t screw over libraries, readers, writers, or publishers. Feelings run surprisingly high here, especially with the brouhaha about digital rights for libraries, and I see why. In the meantime, while we wait for them to figure out who’s who and what’s what, I’m glad most of my purchased books (meaning not free out-of-copyright classics) are BOOKS, and short of burning them, no one can delete them on a whim.




Are you a paper purist who’ll never use an e-reader? Or maybe you’re a gadget geek who thinks printed books are a thing of the past?






4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Frank Burns
    Nov 07, 2012 @ 15:34:05

    In the UK, Amazon have prevented library users from downloading loaned copies of e-books onto their Kindle readers. Every other E-reader can. What does that say about Amazon?


    • Nicole
      Nov 07, 2012 @ 17:52:31

      For a while, we couldn’t get library books on kindle here in the US either, but we can now. Maybe it will change there too. I think the digital rights issues are difficult, but I like my kindle so much and I’ve had such positive experiences across the board with amazon that I’m inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. Of course, if they deleted all my books, I’d change my mind.


  2. agreenmoon
    Nov 07, 2012 @ 16:11:53

    Totally agree with you! I am a lover of the kindle and the paper book they both have their uses and I wouldn’t want to give up either of them. I am however, sticking to my old kindle keyboard as I don’t fancy reading on the shiny screen of the more modern kindle. My e-book is practically vintage never mind the paper books I own!


    • Nicole
      Nov 07, 2012 @ 17:56:46

      Are the newer ones shiny? Mine is a second generation, and it has a nice matte screen. I read quite a bit on my iPad too, and I much prefer the non-reflective kindle screen.

      The technology changes so fast, I often feel like mine is vintage too, and then I remember that it’s only two years old and am ashamed of myself for going along with the need-the-newest attitude without even meaning to.


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