Friday, January 6, 2012

Paper or plastic?

Change—it’s inevitable. David Bowie even sang about it: “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes…” I’ve lived long enough to see a lot of change (hence, my reference to David Bowie)—from paper to plastic, typewriters to computers, film to digital cameras, and the advent of digital books. Remember when the only question about books was, “Hardcover or paperback?” Seems likes that was eons ago. Now we talk about books in ‘formats’—pdf, epub, mobi, prc, html, lit… And then we have e-readers—Kindle, Sony, Nook, Kobo—to name a few. And as if that isn’t enough, we have apps—downloadable programs that allow us to read ebooks on our PCs, Blackberries, iPhones, and wristwatches (not really, but I’m sure that’s coming soon.)

The challenge today is keeping up with the ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. There are times when I want to cling ferociously to my paperback books. But, then, there are times like a few weeks ago when I had to wait an hour for work to be done on my car. I carried my Kindle along and was able to switch between books with the tap of my finger. The added bonus was that, when the cashier asked about the device, I could tell her about e-books, including my own. (I try to never miss a promo opp.)

I love the opportunity to enlighten those who say, “I’ve seen ebooks, but I like real books instead.” What makes a book real? A good story, engaging characters, an attractive cover? Ebooks have all those things, too. Unlike the argument between paper or plastic and which is better for the environment, ebooks are both ecologically sound and economical. You might wonder how you will use all those empty bookshelves. Start a collection of teacups or knick knacks. Display family photos. Write a novel in the accumulated dust. And carry your entire library along whether you’re going to the repair shop or Europe.

If you haven’t yet, give ebooks a try. You’ll see just how real they are.

Linda Rettstatt
Writing for Women


T. M. Hunter said...

Great post...I especially like the comeback regarding "real books."

TK Toppin said...

Great little post. I try my best to "sell" the ebook and ereader wherever I go. Of course, some are die-hard traditionalists.

Unknown said...

I read ebooks almost exclusively now. The only exceptions being trade books, because getting schematics on equipment and the such is just too hard to do on a kindle.
Besides, reading ebooks has really freed up a lot of space in my book graveyard closet!
Great post!

Jude Johnson said...

LOL LInda, no one wears wristwatches any more--so my son tells me.

I admit that my lifelong dream is to have a library like Prof. Henry Higgins. Floor to ceiling books with a rolling ladder...probably fall over and kill myself or the cat first time I'd try it!

That said, I love the ease of ebooks and the reduced slaughter of trees. My "keeper" books--reference tomes, classics, absolute favorites--are and will be paper, but books to take places are ebooks. I have Kindle for my PC at the moment but am leaning toward a Nook. And my son just got his first ebook required read text for this semester. Now THERE'S where they need to publish in e format!

Thanks for a thoughtful post!

Linda Rettstatt said...

No one wears watches anymore? Really? Well, tha explains why so many people seem to be in a rush all the time. They don't know whether or not they're running late!

Linda (who wears a watch faithfully and is almost always on time.)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Being on time is a Philadelphia thing, Linda. Me, too. Young people get the time on their smart phones.

Your post got me thinking about those empty book shelves. I have just the things: all my Orlando Sentinel logo cups. With dogital books one also has digital newspapers and magazines. No souveniers or clutter to make a home look lived in.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Great post, Linda. I love my kindle and the ease with which I can download books (too easy!) - but I do still enjoy all my print books too. My daughter bought me a hardback for Christmas and it seemed like a special treat. But, of course, the important thing is the content of the book!

Linda Rettstatt said...

I love some of my books in paperback, too. (Especially the ones with my name on them :) I've seen more and more of my family and friends make the switch to also embrace ebooks in the past year. I have moved frequently and know how much easier it would have been to pack a Kindle and few less boxes of books. Nice that we have both options.

Rita Bay said...

So true, Linda. eBooks will rule. My little Sony can hold a whole library. I still like to have my research library in print but that may change. Rita Bay

Allison said...

First, if you are not 10 minutes early, you are late... Says DH. New York born and bred.

Reach in paper, yah, I have to agree but text books, oh, don't I wish. Chemistry books always weighed at ton. And I absolutely love the Kindle Fire, however, 'Angry Birds' may be the bain of my exsistence.

Allison said...

That was supposed to be research in paper oh yah!

I do not like the keyboard on this laptop. Any suggestions?

Rhobin said...

Nothing except death is as inevitable as change. The difficult part is keeping up it.