The E-Reader Thing

I’ve got a lot of books, and that’s fine.  That’s great.  That gets the ladies wet.  But it can also be a real hassle because now I’ve got books all over the place at my house.

A couple of years ago, I thought about getting a Nook from Barnes and Noble.  I remember when a friend of mine in grad school showed off his e-reader; it was a Kindle, I think, rather than a Nook.  The guy kept bragging about how awesome it was when I asked him about it.

But when I look around at all the books in my house, the question comes back like a line from a Shakespearean knock-off: to buy an e-reader or not to buy an e-reader.  Forget Nook.  Forget Kindle.  Right now, the debate for me is more generalized as electronic versus hard copy.  Now I’m not stupid.  I know the e-reader is here to stay, but I keep wondering if it’s worth it for me right now.  So what are the pros and cons?

Pros:

  • Reasonable price: Nooks and Kindles have steadily gone down in price, especially the older models that catch the eyes of few.  I think the highest price for an e-reader so far has been Amazon’s Kindle Fire running at about $500, but most are in the $200-300 range.
  • Space Saving: This is probably my biggest reason for wanting an e-reader, as I’m sure it is for everyone else.  You can condense your entire library into the palm of your hand and save all that space on your shelves for more important things like liquor.
  • Accessibility: Because an e-reader is such a space-saving asset, you don’t have to worry about leaving your house for, say, a study group and realizing you’ve left this book or that source at home. 


Cons:

  • Hidden Costs: If you buy a Nook for $200, that device is a blank slate.  The books that you have now in hard copy have to be repurchased (for me, personally, I’m talking about a couple hundred books, by the way), and there’s no guarantee that you’d be able to resale all those extra books online.
  • Fragility: All it takes is for one bad accident, and suddenly your e-reader, library and all, are destroyed.  The worst you could expect from a book is maybe dropping one book in the tub as opposed to all of your books.
  • Physical Contact: At the end of the day, part of me still enjoys holding a book in my hands and flipping the pages as I read.


Still no answer for me as to whether or not I’ll switch to an e-reader, but those are the points as I see them.  If anyone feels they got something to contribute, I’m all ears.

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