Friday, August 13, 2010

Paper Books vs. eBooks

Everywhere I seem to turn these days, there's more talk about ebook readers: their features, their prices, their attack on traditional books. It seems like a new reader or a new model of an existing one comes out every week. When you're a librarian, reading professional journals as part of your job, it's hard to avoid all this buzz, and harder still to keep up with the lingo: Kindle, JetBook, LIBRE, Nook, Alex, BeBook, Kobo, Que, wi-fi, 3G, e-ink, and so on. A bookseller at Barnes & Noble told me that Nooks are flying off the shelf, and Amazon recently announced that downloads for Kindles now exceed sales of paper books.

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about having no interest in buying an ebook reader, but as prices drop and curiousity overcomes me, I may find myself backing away from that position somewhere down the road. I try (and need to) keep an open mind about these things. With that in mind, I call your attention to a couple of posts from Richard McManus on the Read Write Web blog. The first, 5 Ways That eBooks are Better Than Paper Books, appeared on Tuesday, and its companion, 5 Ways That Paper Books are Better Than eBooks, appeared on Wednesday. You can read these posts and make up your own mind. Feel free to leave comments here on this subject.

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