Okay, I love my Sony Reader with a passion, but here’s why I still appreciate paper books.
#1 Paper books never give you panic attacks: My reader completely froze up the other night. No response whatsoever. If it weren’t for Google and the MobileRead forums, I’d probably have just sat and wept. Anyway, after a few panicked minutes, I figured out that its battery was probably drained (despite two bars showing) and the solution was to charge it for a few hours. And it worked – was I relieved! I know it sounds like a simple solution, but trust me, you never get this worried about a paper book.
#2 I miss the book covers: I’m a bit of a sucker when it comes to covers, so only seeing them in blurry black-and-white just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe once colour e-ink technology makes an appearance, that will change. Though the special effects, such as foil or embossing, still won’t come through. Sigh.
#3 It’s easy to flip through the pages: Until I started reading ebooks, I had no idea how often I flipped back and forth while reading. Or skimmed the boring bits. And it’s not easy doing that on the reader. It takes about a second for the screen to refresh each time, so if I’m not sure where the passage I want to reread is, it can take a while. On the positive side, I’m paying more attention when reading now!
#4 I can share them: I can’t share my ebooks. Not without loaning out my reader – and nope, not going to do that. So if, say, I want to get a book that I know my sis wants to read as well, I’ve to buy the paper version. Unless she gets an ebook reader as well, and that’s probably not going to happen since she’s more of a casual reader. And also, I can’t loan books I’ve really liked to friends. Sure, I can still talk about them, but it’s not a “here, you’ve got to read this”-type thing.
#5 I don’t have to convert them: I grumbled about this when I first got my ebook reader – figuring how to convert all the different formats into something readable by the Sony Reader wasn’t fun. Now? It’s still a pain but to be honest, it only takes a couple of minutes max to get it sorted. I wouldn’t complain if all vendors offered the Sony LRF format, but it’s not a dealbreaker.
Having said these – nothing can beat the sheer convenience of instantly getting the books you want. Or not having to lug ten books on holiday just because you’re not sure what reading mood you’ll be in. Or freeing up that shelf for something other than books.
I’m still hugely glad I caved in and got my reader 😀