Wednesday, April 30, 2008

E-Books Just Aren’t the Same

I’ve downloaded a couple e-books recently – books in PDF format for reading online. When e-books first came out, they were thought to be more economical and easier to read.

Unlike traditional print-based books, there is no need to spend extra money printing, binding and shipping them. So the cost of e-books is significantly cheaper.

They were also designed to be easier to read online – so that you don’t have to use a bookmark to keep your spot.

The downside with e-books, sitting in front of a computer monitor all day reading one just isn’t as comfortable as snuggling up on the sofa or in bed with a nice paper-based book.

Sure e-books are better for the environment – as they save paper. But I can print these e-books, which would probably consume more paper than had they been printed originally, as my printer would print single sided pages (most books are double-sided).

I know, we spend so much time online, typing, working, and playing games, that reading books online is the next logical step.

But there is something to be able to hold a book, to turn it’s pages, even to put it down in haste when the phone rings and have to go back and flip around to find out where you left off.

When computers first came out, people were making sweeping predictions about just how much of a time saver they would be. Some predicted we’d have shorter work weeks, use far less paper, and even get paid more, because we’d all be more efficient.

In walks reality, and paper use is at an all time high, the work week is still the same – if not longer thanks to the ability to check email and login remotely from any location, even home – and wages haven’t really changed all that much over the past decade.

E-books are a time saver when it comes to ordering them. Once you order it, instead of waiting for the print-based book to come to your door, you simply download it and in a matter of minutes, you have your book. But that is about as much of a benefit as I could find in these electronic books.

I have a laptop, and even taking my laptop to the bed to read isn’t nearly as comfortable as just lying in bed with a good old fashioned paper-based book.

Imagine taking an e-book to the beach? I’d probably be taking my laptop to the tech support guys, asking how do you remove sand from the keyboard and plug-in ports?

I’ve tried e-books, but I’ll stick to a good print-based book any day.

No comments:

Post a Comment