E-Books - a greener way to read?

Monday, 1 February 2010  |  Admin

I'm not a gadget geek. News about the new Apple iPad leaves me cold (who needs another netbook / games console anyway?) So why am I lusting after an Amazon Kindle / Sony Reader?

I LOVE reading. Books are my one luxury item. I tried using the local library but their selection was small and it was such a pain to get there. I had to drive there, find a parking space, get small children into buggy, get into library, stop small children demolishing the place....nightmare. I usually ended up putting off the return trip to the library and ended up paying lots of late fees. It was actually cheaper for me to buy books from Amazon or the local charity shops.

But there are downside to my love of reading. The stack of books 3 ft high beside my bedside testifies to one problem - storage. I love to keep my books and reread them at a later date probably not for a few years. So in the meantime where do you store them? I have literally boxes full of books in my attic that I don't have space to store elsewhere. I'd love to have them out on display but I'd need to build an extension. Much cheaper to pay £250 for an e-book reader!

There's also the environmental benefit of reading e-books:

  • saving trees and therefore reducing paper consumption
  • saving the energy used in book production
  • no need for packaging materials, and all the energy and cash costs associated with those materials
  • saving fuel used for transporting books from the printer to the warehouse and then from the warehouse to the consumer

But against all these very positive benefits I have 3 concerns.

  • The chances of me dropping the book as I fall asleep and breaking it are quite high
  • The lack of availability - there are 400,000 books available in kindle format, just a drop in the ocean of all books out there
  • And my main gripe is that unlike a paper book you can't share an e-book. So if you love something and want to pass it to your friend to read, you can't

So at the moment I'm still sitting on the fence. I'll keep watching and waiting and I might get one at some stage...but then again I might not.....

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