Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ereaders vs Paper Books

My e-reader broke just before Christmas. The screen cracked. I switched it on and stared in horror at its shattered, blinking screen for several seconds before calling my husband and tearfully announcing its demise. I was a little panicked. When I wreck a paper book (I've dropped them in toilets, gotten food on them, throw them out of car windows when I was a kid...) it is annoying but not the end of the world. I can sticky tape the spine back together, put it on a shelf to dry, lick my finger and try to rub off that tomato sauce stain on page 92.

When an e-reader breaks you realize you have just lost 23 books. It was my first broken e-reader and I started wondering if the books on it could be salvaged. Luckily, they would and the week after Christmas I bought a new one. I was standing in the kitchen thinking about my new one just now and was wondering how long it would last before it too broke. A year? Six months? Who knows. This one has a screen protector and I bought a little zip bag to "protect it" (I'm not sure how much it will actually protect it).

When I wreck a paper book I am looking at a lost of between $10-60. When I break an e-reader I'm looking at a cost of $99 and up to replace it. Is it worth it? I love e-readers and ebooks. I hate ebook book stores though. Australia has little to none and the few places that do sell them are over priced.

I get my books from Kobo. I have tried to find other places to purchase them from. Most websites are for people in the US only or are so complicated I couldn't figure out how to download the books. So I'm stuck with Kobo. Kobo is...okay. It has an unusually large selection of books in foreign languages and will have a random selection of books from one series instead of all of them (All I want is One for the Money by Janet Evanovich on ebook Kobo!! Why don't you have it?!?)

Are e-book readers really an improvement on paper books? Yes and no. I like being able to carry multiple books around with me at once. It's nice to not have to carry hard backs around. But I am petrified of my new e-reader breaking. Its probably just a matter of time before it does. I'll forget its in my bag and I'll toss my handbag on the floor and my purse will fall on it and boom---done. That's probably how it happened last time.

Despite the flaws of ebook readers I will continue to use them. Its pros outweigh its flaws...but barely, sometimes.

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