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The way to cure people of disdain for e-readers is to let them borrow yours for a day. Be careful though — you may not get it back.

I, too, prefer the e-ink readers to backlit devices, and I find myself comfortably reading anywhere I go.

I think my Kindle makes me a better reader because of the easy access to the built-in dictionary. I rarely get up off the couch to look up a word when reading a conventional book, but with the e-reader I use the dictionary regularly. Fun.

Cliff Garstang

I love books.

But I want a Kindle.

Stan Carey

Many of the arguments against e-readers seem to be little more than prejudices in disguise. I haven't used an e-reader (yet), and I probably love paper books enough for it to qualify as some sort of fetish, but I've nothing against the electronic medium in principle. E-readers seem to have some advantages over traditional books, and vice versa.

Hatred of change is often more precisely fear of change. It's an understandable attitude but a troublesome one.

Steven W. Beattie

1. You can spill water on a book and not render the device unusable.

2. If you accidentally drop a book, its front panel will not shatter.

3. You can annotate a book.

4. If you want to replace a book, it won't cost you a significant outlay of money.

5. If you tire of a book and want to get rid of it, it's recyclable. E-readers, not so much.

6. Jonathan Swift is both readable and highly enjoyable.

Kathryn D.

I'm with Steven W. Beattie. I do recycle my books (and discover new authors quite cheaply) via paperbackbookswap.com. I also give books to friends and get books autographed. As long as ebook readers have horrible DRM and can't be shared, I am really not interested. Especially now that publishers have jacked up the prices to more than the cost of a paperback. I'll buy the hardcovers I want to keep and swap for the rest of my reading material.


I've had an ereader for a week, and I love it. I love books so much I plan to carry 100s of them around with me at all times. I am tired of people confusing content with form. (And it's much easier to read in bed than a hardcover!)

To Steven:
1 and 2: I've already spilled on and dropped my reader. It survived. Some models are sturdier than others.
3: I've already annotated my first ebook quite extensively. I can highlight, dogear "pages", scribble across the pages, or type up more coherent thoughts (and easily search through and download them).
4: I don't need to replace ebooks — I have a copy on my harddrive. Ebooks are significantly cheaper than print edtitions. Oh, you mean the device... well, yeah, but that seems not to be too significant a problem for all the cell-phones and iPods and cameras and blackberries, etc. I don't think I've ever actually lost a physical book either (except for it being buried in a pile, which problem the ereader overcomes).
5. I imagine I've read forests of trees in my lifetime. This ereader should last me a good decade; it's pretty small, I'm not worried.
6. I've never read Swift but will download a (public domain) title promptly.

Yes, DRM could stand some improvement, but I'm sure it'll get sorted out.

Susan Fine

i LOVE books, but i want an ipad! i am also hoping, hoping, hoping that by the time my two sons need lots of different textbooks for school that they can all be on a light and easy-to-carry-around e-reader, unlike the 50+ pound backpacks kids currently lug. i'm also hoping that those readers will have the functionality that allows them to take notes, underline, etc. wouldn't that be great?!

Steven W. Beattie

Oh, and:

7. In the case of power outage or battery drainage, my books still function.

Hope you enjoy the Swift, in whatever format you choose. His satire feels utterly relevant in 2010.


Isn't calling modern books "pulp, fit for a landfill" another kind of book snobbery? I know he wasn't commenting on the _content_ of the books, but it's still kind of offensive.

Carla Lomax

E-book, ipad, e-reader. You say poh-tay-toe, I say poh-tah-toe. That's all well and good. The broader issue is that the Kindle or whatever, is still, along with Blackberries, laptops, digital cameras, and all the other latest technogadgets, is still priced out of the reach of a significant proportion of the population. In this country of haves and have-nots, I certainly hope that access to education doesn't revert to the days when literacy was a luxury only the wealthy could afford.

Carla Lomax

Oops. Yes, now I see that I did repeat myself with "is still." My red pen seems to be out of ink.

Caterina Nelson

I just downloaded Tale of a Tub to my Kindle.

I find two more advantages: it sits flat for reading at the table (trying to get a book to stay open by sticking under the lip of a plate is a recipe for disaster, in my opinion), and I can get 300 books into the space of one. I love paper books, and my house is overflowing with them, so I download any titles I can.
p.s. Amazon's Kindle prices are almost always lower than the paperback price - only way to get a book for less is to get it used (or out of a library, but that's another story).


I love both books and my e-reader. I do a lot of reading in the bathtub and the hot tub, so the e-reader isn't really a smart idea there. But my iPad works great for so many things when traveling, when marking up scholarly papers, etc.

To me, this argument is a bit like the "Amazon will kill small bookstores" and "Mac v. PC" arguments people always seem to want to have with me. I buy books from Amazon, both physical and e-media, and I still buy lots of books at the indie store down the street. The Mac v. PC argument strikes me as being the same as arguing about pencils or vice-grips. Find one you like and leave me to find one I like.

I do like to throw books that annoy me with bad writing or plotting. Self-indulgent and childish, but it still feels awesome. Maybe I will get a kick out of deleting them off my iPad.

Jesse Vernon


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