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E-readers have become well-established in the reading world, but are they really a preferable alternative to physical books?
1. Books don't need to be charged.
If you’re a binge reader or a travel reader like me, you might read a few hundred pages in one sitting. Now, to be fair, this “one sitting” may last several hours, and an e-reader will probably not be able to make it that long without needing a charge. What if you’re on a plane and there aren’t any outlets? How will you ever know what happens in the next chapter? Imagine spending the rest of your plane ride crying silently as you stare out the window, because that’s what will happen. (Or maybe you’ll sob violently, I mean let’s be honest, I don’t know you or your crying habits.)
2. Technology is unreliable.
True story: my mom’s Nook died a few months ago and now it looks like her iPad (with her Nook app on it) is having trouble too. Real, physical books will never malfunction, but technology is supremely unpredictable. Not to mention, one day our technological creations will rise up against us, (most likely aided by the Cybermen,) in an attempt to erase humanity.
3. A shelf of books is always impressive.
Okay, maybe this is just me, but I would always rather have shelves upon shelves of books than even the most expensive piece of e-reader technology. I love the look and feel of books, both new and old. I love just the sight of it alone: all the different colors and sizes of the spines lined up, stacked up, and stuck in every available space. Then add in that feeling every book lover has experienced in Barnes and Noble: running your hand down the spines of an entire aisle of books. (For more on this visit my article Why Old Books Are The Best Books!)
4. No one is going to steal a physical book.
Okay, maybe someone would, but by and large it's more common to steal an item with a larger resale price: like an e-reader. Of course you would be upset if someone stole your book or even if it just went missing, but it would be more of an "I'm-so-sad-I-really-liked-that-book" kind of upset, rather than an "I'm-so-angry-I-lost-my-books-and-I-paid-a-pretty-penny-for-that" kind of upset. In our society today, we have enough small, valuable and misplace-able devices already.
5. We need to support bookstores.
*Attention! This is an important consumer alert!* Bookstores are becoming rare, people! Borders is out of business now, so what have we got left? Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million? (Let's be honest, we all know Books-A-Million is just the poor man's Barnes and Noble anyway.) We're killing a good bit of their business with e-readers, as well as online shopping through sites like Amazon. Even I, as a book lover, rarely go to an actual bookstore anymore because of the convenience factor. We as a society are so spoiled with our online conveniences, and we very well could online shop our way to zero bookstores. Most important of all are the small businesses, though. Let me just say, there is nothing like the magic of a locally owned bookstore, my favorites being Underground Books in Carrollton, GA and A Novel Experience in Zebulon, GA. When I walk in to either of these places, I can feel the unique character as well as the thought that has been put into every detail. Rest assured the owners will love books just as much as you, and would love to help you find anything you're looking for. I can't imagine a world without bookstores, and we can't wait around to take action until they're almost gone. We need to actively support them today!