Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Paper Angst

I'm in a quandry. I'm considering buying one of these.


1. I will likely read more, simply by dint of convenience.

2. I don't have room in my house for any more books.

3. I will feel whizzy and exciting and a bit greener.


1. I like real books. Real paper book-type, sniff-me-I-smell-like-a-book books.

2. I will be decreasing the number of paper books in circulation and thus contributing to the future reduction of the second-hand bookshop industry.*

3. My Mother will disown me.

4. I will be giving money to Amazon, and not my lovely local(ish) independent bookshop.

At this point, I am thinking of a Harry Hill style "FIIIIGHT!" and seeing what happens. I'm aware this is not a complete lifestyle choice. Even if I have a Kindle, I can still buy paper books. But then, what if I want to read the book I have on paper on my Kindle.** But I can't LEND people books I have on a Kindle. Nor have they yet invented a way for me to nose at what other people are reading on the tube with an e-book.


Anyone got any thoughts?

* And then where will all the old spinster gay men go? This is my retirement plan!
** They should do what they do with DVDs/Blu-Rays and flog 'triple play' books, with a code to download a digital one. Do they do that? Why do they not do that.


GreatSheElephant said...

* current thinking is that while e-books will decrease the size of the paperback market, it won't dent the market for hardbacks and may contribute towards a move in that sector to higher production values. So you could still have a bookshop with really nice hardbacks in it.

Also, it came as a bit of a shock to me to find that kindle editions can actually be a lot more expensive than paperbacks so you probably won't stop buying paperbacks entirely.

I expect to use mine primarily when travelling - I can download a guidebook, A-Z and dictionary (if abroad) as well as lots of holiday reading and save myself a lot of weight.

Boz said...

This is ENORMOUSLY helpful. And I can see the particular benefits for travelling. I have lugged tomes across Europe an India.

GreatSheElephant said...

I am always happy to enable.

Geoff said...

Two more cons - paper books don't go wrong and you can drop them on the floor.

Then again I've read books on my Kindle iPhone app and having less text on a page means it feels like you get through them quicker.

Tim Footman said...

GSE is right, of course. I got a Kindle at Christmas, and I enjoy its convenience, especially when travelling/commuting. But the first *real* book I bought afterwards was Art Speigelman's Metamaus, which just wouldn't work on an e-reader. (I also kept buying vinyl after I first got a CD player, and even after i-Tunes came along.)

LaLa said...

They are freaking excellent! Ever lugged a gazillion kilo Lonely Planet across a continent? Just download it!

In Australia printed books can be very expensive and most Kindle editions for me are cheaper. Now when I am travelling I can just download a couple of books for the flight and I don't have to struggle to fit them in to my hand luggage.

A high percentage of the books I read are just trash (hello Jackie Collins!). Now I buy my trash on kindle or in a op-shop and buy the books I want to keep in hard copy. I feel slightly better about my carbon footprint knowing that I am not contributing to so many paper books being produced and transported...

As for lending your Kindle books, it's only available in the US right now but it can only be a matter of time.. http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200549320

Also - you can get really cute covers for them with a dinky light.

Boz said...

Geoff - I do drop things. This is a stone cold fact.

Tim - I still buy CDs. I have reached a strange event horizon where because i still buy new ones, I can't throw away old ones. Quite what I'm doing hoarding the greatest hits of Bananarama in physical form is qyestionable.

Lala - You're totally selling me on the dinky light business.

GreatSheElephant said...

look at the link on my blog and the dinky light will fade into insignificance

Boz said...

Hmm. I'm not sure I can agree with Mr Franzen, though. Who seems to be being a bit extreme about it all.

GSE - your blog is having one of its periodic moments of not letting me in.

Hedgie said...

I've jumped in and bought one and am not finding it as whizzy as my friends promised. Also, I have been somewhat shocked to find friends go through these things like keenex - one had to replace his 3 times in one year and someone else's kindle succumbed to 'ink poisoning', whatever that is. So far mine remains healthy, but I have yet to finish my first book on it.