Why I may switch to an e-reader

My initial reaction to ebook readers like the Kindle and the Sony reader were Luddite. I now feel they were knee jerk as well.

I realized this a few months back when I was relocating from the United States to India for an uncertain length of time. Three boxfuls of books had piled up during a little over four years. Not even half of them had been read. The Hamlet- ian question was whether I should ship them back to India or leave them in the US. Given my indecisiveness regarding where in the world I want to be, I decided to leave them with a friend in the US. It was in those moments between packing and then driving them down to his place that sealed my decision as far as switching to an ereader was concerned. For the very least, I wouldn’t have to lug around these paper versions. For another, I would have access to my books where ever I was. A look at the Sony reader at the local bookstore convinced me of the inevitable, though at $350, the price was still a deterrent.

Since then the prices for the ebook readers have declined. Kindle has already reduced it from $350 to $299 in the face of competition from the Sony reader. The cost of an ebook- generally around $10, is also less than the paper version. The availability of over 700, 000 out of copyright books on the Sony reader is an added bonus. Of course, there will be a downside in that one can no longer purchase used books. I have bought good quality used books for as low as 1 cent. With a 3.99 dollar shipping charge, they have cost me about $4, or rupees 200, by all means an excellent price.

Besides the inability to buy used books, one cannot loan the ebooks either. In other words, while ebooks make a person more free, they would also reduce the  social aspect of borrowing and lending books, or re- selling them. Unless, of course, workarounds are found, for example, some kind of a password enabled ‘loan’ for a certain number of days, that would enable ‘borrowing’ e-books.

Nevertheless, I hope that it would be always possible to buy the print edition of a book that one would really like to sniff and cuddle.


Author: bhupinder singh

an occasional blogger

3 thoughts on “Why I may switch to an e-reader”

  1. I agree. E readers can be a great space saver and a great way to always have your book collection with you. After you get over the initial shock of reading from a screen and not needing to turn pages you’ll feel as comfortable as ever with an e reader!

  2. MediaCurves.com just conducted a study with 306 viewers of a video comparing Amazon’s e-books and Barnes & Noble’s eReader. The results showed the majority (63%) of viewers preferred Amazon’s e-books. The study also revealed that while only 10% of respondents currently use an electronic device for reading, 42% of respondents reported that they are likely to purchase an electronic device in the next 6 months. For more in-depth results, please visit http://bit.ly/sMTqu.

  3. Given the circulation of digital copies of books, apart from reading resources on the net, I feel reading itself will change and that book as a product to be bought also would change. I imagine a situation where all ‘books’ (not several papers held together, but an amount of related content) are merely circulated and not bought. Thus, the digital age may end book as a product. I’d love it, what say?

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