I love books. I also love having the newest technological toy. You’d think, then, that I’d also love an E-Reader. There are several good reasons why an E-Reader would be a smart purchase, which led me to the internet for research. All this research has done is convince me that an E-Reader may not be for me.One of the reasons I have been interested in E-Readers is the price of e-Books. In many cases e-Books are cheaper than their paper counterparts. A comparison of my last six months of book purchases, however, showed the savings was not as much as I expected. My calculations showed that an E-Reader would have only saved me $14.48 in book purchases over six months. Some calculations showed that it would take 57 months for me to save enough with e-Book purchases to pay for the new $139 Kindle. While this is a savings, it isn’t large enough to justify the purchase.
Another thing people often rave about with E-Readers is the fact that they can be several books at once. If you are reading two traditional books at once, you must carry both around. This is a waste of precious purse space. Compare this to an E-Reader where forty e-Books take up the same space as one book. In this case an E-Reader is clearly beneficial. Personally, though, I would see little benefit from this ability. I read books so quickly that I am rarely reading more than one book at a time. With the exception of my doctor’s appointments, I do most of my reading at home. While this feature is helpful for many, it is not something that would persuade me to purchase an E-Reader. It was pointed out to me that with an E-Reader, you can purchase books instantly. When Mockingjay was released, those with E-Readers could start reading promptly at 12:01 am while still in their PJ’s. This interest me due to my need to have things as quick as possible. If not for my Amazon Prime account–which sends me any book I order in two days or less for free–it might have been a selling point. While Prime can not deliver books to me at 12:01 am, it does guarantee I’ll have the book waiting for me on release day when I get home from work. This service is quick enough that I don’t find the instant delivery of an E-Reader to be a factor in the decision to switch from traditional books to electronic ones.
A final argument for an E-Reader deals with the paper that makes up traditional books. Pages of books are so easily torn or soiled. With an E-Reader you will never have to deal with a missing page or spill making a passage hard to read. Again, this really isn’t a deciding factor for me. As I read quickly, there is little time for damage to occur on my pages. A second factor is the large amount of paper necessary to make a traditional book. I alone probably have two or three trees in Harry Potter books. Do I feel like a bad person for killing all these trees I could be saving with e-Books? Honestly, no. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe. It does help to know that many of my books–like my two dozen Harry Potter books–were published by companies that practice Eco-Friendly Printing. Again, this just isn’t something that justifies an E-Reader purchase to me. Until recently I just had little reason to want an E-Reader. That started to change when I was faced with two five-hour plane rides. While book portability was never a big concern previously, I started to see this issue in a different light. Currently my plan to read on the plane involves packing several books in my tiny carry-on. All of a sudden the ability to carry several books in one E-Reader is very appealing. Not only will I have to lug all of these books with me on the trip, but I have to bring them back home with me after I finish them. Carry-on bag space will be wasted transporting a book I will never again read.
There is also the issue of what happens when you finish a book three hours into a six-hour flight. Hopefully, I will have thought ahead and packed a second book. If not, I’m stuck browsing the SkyMall catalog for an hour or two. With an E-Reader–and the wifi connection on many airlines–this isn’t a problem. I can easily order up a new book and have it delivered instantly. What normally isn’t a feature I’m interested in becomes very appealing mid-flight.
While I am wishing for an E-Reader for my upcoming trip, I still think that this is a purchase I can justify for every day use. There is no arguing that it would be a great asset while traveling, but the benefits sharply decrease or disappear completely when I’m home. As I don’t travel often, I just can’t justify an E-Reader purchase. Perhaps I will check out a local library that is lending Kindles to patrons. That experience may help me see how much or little an E-Reader would impact my life. If that doesn’t work out, I may just steal my husband’s iPad for the plane ride. He loves the SkyMall magazine way more than I do so maybe he won’t notice.