Are E-Books Ready for the World?

Wired has an article called 5 Reasons Why E-Books Aren’t There Yet. While people can like or dislike e-books all they want, the reasons listed in the article are just ridiculous, and seem like more of a gripe than an honest critique. I’m quite found of e-books, and have been reading them for several months.

Wired’s “reasons” are in bold, my rebuttles follow:

1) An unfinished e-book isn’t a constant reminder to finish reading it.

If you need to be nagged to finish a book, buy better books! And, if a book I’m reading does wind up to be total crap, I can stop reading it no matter what the format.

2) You can’t keep your books all in one place.

Well, they are all on your e-reader. Not all e-readers organize books in the same way, so the author may have run into some kind of an issue. I use the wonderful e-book program Calibre in conjunction with my Nook (though it works with most e-reader devices) to act as a library management tool. It works pretty well, and there are other programs out there, too.

3) Notes in the margins help you think.

I don’t write in books, and don’t understand people that do. What, do they think they are having a conversation with the author? If you’re in the mood for writing, put the damn book down and write.

4) E-books are positioned as disposable, but aren’t priced that way.

Disposable? Who positions e-books as disposable? Once you buy one, it’s yours. If you buy from a major retailer, like Barnes and Nobel or Amazon, it’s backed up in your user account library, so you can delete it from your device, then re-download it at no cost (think of it as a closet!), or re-load them to a difference device if get a new e-reader. E-book formats are pretty standard modifications of html, so it’s not like they’re going to suddenly not work because of a future upgrade.

5) E-books can’t be used for interior design.

Well, this is just silly. Though, I do have some books that are used to look all old timey on the table behind me, my few decorative books aren’t meant for reading, and my reading books aren’t meant to be a decoration.

What are some real reasons to dislike e-books? Say, if I was paid to write an article? Mmmm, let’s give it a shot:

1) I’m a Luddite. I don’t trust tech-mology, and write about how awful it is on my web page.

2) I like to write on things, like a little kid, and paper books are like page after page of activity sheets.

3) I’m scared, and wolves are after me! I can throw a dictionary much more effectively than a Kindle.

4) Waiting for a book to arrive in the mail is like foreplay for reading.

5) I like to display all the books I’ve read for people to see. I also take picture of my food and make picture books out of them, which I then display on my book shelf.

Explore posts in the same categories: Reviews, Self Indulgence

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3 Comments on “Are E-Books Ready for the World?”


  1. I like your comments at the end – I’m a Luddite but I like to write about it on my web page. Seems that I know many such people.

  2. Victor Says:

    The world needs tech savvy Luddites.

  3. Kassul Says:

    I don’t write in my “fluff” books, the lighter sci-fi/space opera/fantasy/etc stuff.
    I have on occasion written in the margins of various more ‘serious’ books. If there’s something particularly worthwhile I might jot a little arrow or star beside it. Makes finding it again much easier if I want to show it to someone or skip to it myself later. Alternatively there might be some especially arcane and difficult section for me to understand where I’d put an explanation/alternate viewpoint for me to consider. That way when I return to the book years(many years?) later I can be sure I’ll benefit from the thinking I’m doing now, or have the opportunity to critique my former ideas and see how my thinking has changed.

    That is handy for a dead tree book, but hardly a critical feature.
    An unfinished regular book isn’t much of a reminder to go back to reading it IMO, since if I don’t really feel like finishing it is worth my time I can just shove it in the closet, or under my bed, or on the bookshelf where I can quickly glance past it. If I want reminders to finish e-books it’s pretty simple to set that up electronically…

    Interior design? My bookshelves are not exactly in the most highly trafficked part of my house. Frankly, there are a couple books I own that I don’t exactly make a point of displaying prominently. Not being readily visible to people who are wandering through my place is a Good Thing for them, not a bad one. I can’t say that showing off our copies of Fancy Smart Books is something to promote either. Seems a tad silly.


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