The death of the printed word?

I agonised for a while over whether to buy an e-reader. I canvassed opinion amongst my friends on Facebook, with responses varying from telling me how amazing they are and what kind of great features they have, to basically warning me that I would be contributing to the death of the printed book if I were to buy one.

In the end, I did buy one. Mainly for the ease of taking it on holiday (anyone who has used up half their baggage allowance on books will know where I’m coming from). I still read “proper” books, usually asking for ones I really want as presents, and I still visit the library, however I have heard tell that Kindle now run a library of their own, which certainly will be temptingly convenient.

I think only now that I have experienced owning an e-reader can I really evaluate the pros and cons:

Pros Cons
Easy to carry, especially on holiday!

Quick access to books.


Some are available for free.


Don’t have to find storage for all those books you can’t bring yourself to throw away.


Possibly more environmentally friendly (though I have no evidence for this!)

Can’t lend books to others who don’t have an e-reader (bad for book club).

Too easy to spend money; several books bought in seconds!


It’s still just not the same as owning a real book…

So in conclusion… Well, I wouldn’t give up the technology now that I have it, but I certainly couldn’t give up printed books either. I think in this debate, everyone has to just make up their own minds.


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