E-book, Kindle, E-reader and All That Jazz. Yes or No?

sony readerThere are lots of things that Jules Verne did not foresee or write about. His imagination was grand, but not grand enough to imagine literature becoming electronic, or trees being cut aimlessly and pointlessly, just to fulfill mankind’s one big dream: write down everything that goes through our half-ass brains, use paper and pen for basically every activity that involves our brain. On some level I do tend to blame literature and education for all the dead trees… but I’m not all that serious about it. It’s just me being “Seinfeldish”.

The more people go to school, the more people learn to read and write, therefore the number of books out there is an exponentially rising number. Those who say people nowadays don’t read can go and shuv it, since just today I passed 3 book-stores, and none of those seems to want to go under in the near future. People buy and use books. In one way or another. However less and less in “dead tree format”, thanks to these little gadgets most people call Kindle. Newsflash, Kindle is not the only one out there. There are a huge number of other manufacturers that see a potential in e-books or e-readers. Basically a tablet-like device (usually 6″ screen) that uses e-ink technology instead if oled or lcd. Price-wise between 50 and 200 euros. Should you get one?

I do for a fact know people who hate these little electronic books. Most of them for no real reason but the “obvious”, “I want the book with pages and paper-smell, then pizza smell, and in the end with pages missing.” I am not against those folks. Frankly, they do have a point, owning a book, a special edition, or whatnot can be a nice feeling. I myself own some books as well, that tend to make me proud. Also, these books last for hundreds of years, and eventually become relics, and sell for a ridiculously high price. All fine with that, but is that at all cost-efficient? Nope! Definitely not. I’m less of a feely-touchy person so I eventually end up balancing the situation based on numbers and nothing else. You can’t beat numbers… 🙂

e-book dead-tree format $
cca 1.000.000 free e-books on the internet no free books in the stores (cheapest is cca 1$) 0 vs 1 million $
no need for shelves, only the reader + an SD card you’ll live surrounded by shelves (cca 40$ / piece) 150 vs 160 $
no need to carry tons of paper every time you move carry them everywhere, all the time, lifetime cost cca 300$ 0 vs 300 $
no need to cut trees or use recycled paper cut trees aimlessly, recycle intensively, cost / person / lifetime cca 5000$ 0 vs 5000 $
buy new books for 2-3$ buy new books for 10-20$ 2 vs 20 $
turn your own books into e-books for easy recovery no recovery measures can be taken (books get lost, burn, etc) 0 vs 300 $
final cost final cost 152 vs 1m+ $

Need I go any further? I did not cover all aspects, but only because I just don’t see the point any more. Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook or Kobo clearly wins without even trying. So, yes, getting one of these is really cost-efficient, and a logical choice. One final thought, and advice would be to get one that’s not the low-end (bottom 33% of e-readers out there). While it may cost well under 80$ or 60 euros, what you pay is what you get, and since an e-book can not offer too much to begin with, be careful how much of the quality and fatures you’re going to compromise for the price. My advice, start somewhere around 100 – 120$/euros, and you’ll end up having a nice and reliable little machine in your bag/pocket (fitting it into a pocket is more of a myth than reality).


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