Paper or ebooks? The Star Trek dilemma.
Captain James T. Kirk loved paper books. Even though by his time they were outdated, he collected them. They were a most treasured gift on his birthday. He didn’t think electronic books were the same. They didn’t feel like real books feel. Captain Jean Luc Piccard felt much the same way. And in their day there were still paper books to be had — in the antique stores.
In 2011, about the time I sold my first book, I learned that Amazon sales of electronic books surpassed paper books for the first time. In some ways we have already surpassed the science that the first Star Trek series imagined in the 1960s. Our communication devices are smaller. But our medical diagnostics are bigger so the technology vision is inconsistent with the actual. The Transporter remains elusive — too bad, since it is one of the two science fiction time management tools that I wish I could use. (The other is the Tesseract envisioned by Madeline L’Engle in A Wrinkle in Time.)
Today we often see people with their E-readers. But we still see paper books as well. Here are some of the reasons I prefer electronic books:
- When I travel I can take dozens of books with me and not add to the weight of what I am carrying. If I read everything I have with me, I can read more with a one-click download.
- Some of the reading devices feel a lot like a book.
- I have both a Kindle and an iPad. The Kindle is lighter in weight and easier to hold. As arthritis has set into my hands, especially my thumbs, I find it is much easier to hold a Kindle than a book of any size. No matter how many words the book has, it will fit in your E-reader.
- E-readers make large print as easy as a setting. If you don’t want to wear reading glasses, don’t! You can just enlarge the type.
- EBooks are very accessible to people who are blind. One friend tells me that the Nook ap with downloaded books is a “game changer” because it is so easy to access the audio book from the downloaded book. This gives a much wider selection to people with disabilities.
How about you? What kind of books do you prefer?