Electronic versus Traditional (Paper) Books

Is the Amazon Kindle the wave of the future, or just a passing fad?
The Amazon Kindle - a literary revolution; the gadget every book lover has been waiting for...? The Kindle gives you more than one-hundred thousand titles at your fingertips, and the ability to hold an entire bookshelf in the palm of your hand. Is this the beginning of the end for paperbacks and those cherished hardcovers?
Some say that this is a fad that will pass. True book lovers do not necessarily want to read a book from a tiny illuminated screen. You cannot turn the pages of a screen. You cannot display it proudly on your shelf in your living room for guests to admire and friends to borrow. You cannot flip through the pages, gaze at the cover, nor bring it to a book-signing to be autographed.
In addition, the Kindle can hold a little more than 200 titles at a time. My bookshelf, depending on the size, can probably hold more. And if it can't, I can get another shelf. Now I am wondering what happens to the over-flow of titles once you've reached the 200+ limit? Do you have to delete titles you've purchased already? If so, that would seem like a big waste of money.
The Kindle runs on a battery. My book does not; as long as there is some dim light somewhere in the room, I can read it.
Now what about the economics of it? The Kindle itself retails for $399.00. Kindle books range in price; the lowest I found was $6.39, and the highest was $3,120. The latter price was for some type of multi-volume encyclopedic reference, and is not typical of a Kindle book. On average it seems like there is a cost savings in purchasing the Kindle book over a new hardcover book, between about ten and thirty percent. The savings of a Kindle book over an old-fashioned paperback is somewhat lower. And keep in mind, if you are not opposed to buying used books, you can sometimes get quite a bargain; when making my comparison, I was able to find many used books on Amazon that were actually lower in price than the same Kindle e-book.
When I think about it, I would rather put the $399 that I would fork over for the Kindle toward $399 worth of books.
Now consider, if you are the type of person who needs to paw through reference volumes and textbooks, the Kindle may be for you. You can easily search for specific parts in the book, and do not have to lug around heavy volumes. If you are a college student or even a researcher or professor, this type of device may be perfect for you.
If you are mainly a reader of fiction and non-fiction paperbacks like me, you may not see as much value in a device like the Kindle. Plus, I just prefer the familiarity of real paper book.
At least for now, I think I will stick with traditional paper books.
What do you think?

No comments: