Friday, September 3, 2010

Readers and e-readers

If you're an avid reader, at some point you've probably grappled with the issue of e-readers. Is it worth it to spend $200 or more on a gadget when you could be spending it on books themselves (or reading books free from the library)? Is reading a novel from a screen the same as reading from a page? Can you get away with reading trashy books on a Kindle since no one will see the cover? :)

The debate has been going on for years and may never be settled. I saw an article, though, with a slightly different perspective. Emma Silvers writes:
"Out of every argument I've heard in favor of e-readers -- no dead trees, portable research, "it's the future," etc. -- my least favorite might be the central point of the thing: the fact that it allows you to choose from thousands of books at any given time. I simply don't want that kind of potential for distraction. Would I have ever made it through any book by Herman Hesse if I'd had the choice, with a press of a button, to lighten the mood with a little Tom Robbins? Will anyone ever finish "Infinite Jest" on a device that constantly presents other options?"
The whole article is here at and is worth a read. What do you think?

[For the record, I have an e-reader (Sony PRS-505) but pretty much only use it for public-domain titles I can download for free.]


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