Monday, 21 February 2011

E-Books Vs Dead Tree Media

I think that all of you need a break from my hugely in-depth and informative discussions on the "superb" books I have recently read. Therefore, I feel like having a little chat about the methods by which I actually read books.

I will admit now that I own a Kindle and am a tiny bit of a techno-geek, and therefore you would rightly assume that on the whole, I prefer using E-books to those manufactured by killing poor innocent trees. However, I do still have to use paper books on occasion and therefore I am going to detail to you all my reasons why.
Firstly, let me go over what I love about using E-books;
  1. Storage: I can own & store hundreds of books without having to find a large area of space amongst my daughter's toys. My daughter also sometimes enjoys eating paper, so not providing her with an easy lunch buffet of a fully stocked bookshelf is rather helpful to both my book collection and her bowels.
  2. Portability: When I go on holiday now I don't need to fill half the suitcase up with books. I can fit my entire holiday reading experience in my hand-luggage.
  3. Free E-Books: I love the fact that there are thousands of public domain books out there that I can read for free. These range from the classics to trashy, pulpy, military sci-fi. However, they are all free and they provide me with a chance to own & read novels that I normally would not have read. As a note, to my wife, yes Victorian Era Sci-Fi novels are still classics!! How can you not think the novels by Jules Verne or HG Wells are classics?
  4. Instant Gratification: When I see a book on the internet that I really want to read, there is no longer any waiting for it to be delivered. I can get my reading pleasure straight away and can do it from anywhere via Wi-Fi or a 3G Network.
As I said previously however, I do still utilise Dead Tree Media and the reasons for this are now detailed below;
  1. Libraries: With libraries I can get pretty much any book I could ever wish for on loan with just a small fee to get it delivered to my local library if it isn't already in stock. I do want to note here that some Libraries have started allowing people to loan E-books although mine doesn't, so until then I will continue to use it for printed media.
  2. Availability: Whilst some books are E-book only, there are a lot more novels that have never been released in an Electronic format. Dead Tree Media still has a much greater range of novels for reading. For example, the glory that is Christopher Pike is not really available in Electronic formats. It would be a sad day if someone forced themselves away from reading this literary genius just because they won't use Dead Tree Media.
  3. Price: Due to various issues with publishers which are covered all over the interweb, E-books for the latest novels can cost more than the paperback and hardback equivalents. Whilst I love the ease of use of an E-book, price will still win with me most of the time as I am a cheap bastard.
  4. Location: I love the fact that I can read my Dead Tree Media in the bath, and if I drop it then it just needs to be dried off. I suspect my E-reader wouldn't survive such an event.
There are plenty of other reasons why people might like E-books over Dead Tree Media and vice-versa. For example, my wife is a nutty pro Dead Tree Media fan and has her own strange reasons for this, such as the wonderful smell of books etc. As you can tell however, I like to try and maintain a middle ground here and understand that both currently have their advantages and disadvantages. In the end I can see most of the reasons I still use paper books being whittled away, but until then I will use both as required.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this so please post some comments regarding the E-Book vs Dead Tree Media debate.