Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content guy, bestselling author

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Why e-readers will never replace books (price isn’t the answer)

Amazon Kindle

UPDATE: I stand corrected. As of 2011, I’m fully converted to digital books now.

As much as I love Amazon (it’s my favorite website), they’re lovely e-reader, the Kindle, will be as popular as Segways. Like the product that was suppose to render walking obsolete, e-readers like Kindle are the latest gadget that’s over-hyped, impressive, but impractical.

The no. 1 reason: printed books aren’t broken. In fact, they provide a far better experience than any e-reader on the market. Here’s why:

  1. Turning pages on paper is faster and more satisfactory than sluggish button clicks or screen refreshes. I know these screens looks really cool in sunlight, but they also compromise usability. If you want to show off, Kindle is the way to go. But if you want to read books, bounded pages work much better.
  2. Readers don’t need to take their entire library with them wherever they go; just the 1-2 books their actively reading. One of the biggest stated features of e-book readers is “you can take your entire library with you, wherever you go!” My response: “I don’t read 25,000 books at a time, just 1-3 at most. And it’s easy peasy to carry that many books.”
  3. Even if e-readers miraculously dropped in price from their current $250+ to an improbable $15, a paper book for $10-20 is still a better experience.

Case closed, people. But by all means—don’t let me stop you from enjoying the Emperor’s New Clothes.