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Five Reasons Not To Get An E-Reader

For my mother’s 79th birthday later this month, her four children are going to give her an e-reader. We have yet to decide which one to give...

For my mother’s 79th birthday later this month, her four children are going to give her an e-reader. We have yet to decide which one to give her, but she’s very keen to join this trend.

As a frequent traveler, and avid reader, she finds that she’s always lugging 12 hard-cover books wherever she goes (often London to visit me!). So she’d like to lighten her load. Apparently, several of her friends already have e-readers and they are all thrilled with them.

I have mixed feelings about this present. On the one hand, as someone who — by her own admission — barely has running water and electricity, my mother is not exactly what you’d call techno-savvy. So there is a dragging-her-into-the-21st century quality to this gift, which, as someone who spends all day online, I welcome with open arms.

On the other hand, I’m also wary of the onslaught of e-readers. I worry about what happens to our society when we no longer read those great artifacts of the 20th century: books.

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Image: 23/365 plus 1 [eReader] by The Hamster Factor  via flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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  1. Leah June 14, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    Everyone I know that has an e-reader still reads regular books, frequents the library, and supports local independent bookstores. I’ve had a Nook since January and I love it. For travel it’s a lot easier than carrying around a 1,000 page hardcover. If the user is a true book lover I do not picture it replacing actual books. For folks that are just gadget lovers it seems to get them to actually read more which is great too.

  2. Daryl Boylan June 14, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

    I agree wholeheartedly with Leah; my sole interest in an e.r. is for travel — I too prefer real books, tho’ I must confess to a prejudice in favor of paper to hard covers (weight, weight — ditto price, price). That e.r.s will replace or even hurt librairies I doubt. There’s no ? that the purveyors of e.r.s are solely interested in their bottom lines, but anything, repeat anything, that gets more people to read books in any form can only be a good thing.

  3. Shelley June 15, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    I’m hoping that if buyers love reading well enough to buy an e-reader, they will still love books. I can appreciate the travel convenience and perhaps if one lived in a very small space without room for actual books, these would be good. I’ve no plans for one at present – they’ll have to be cheap like the bottom level of mobile phones now; and I’ll have to be able to borrow my e-books from the library still!

    • Leah June 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

      I have a friend with an e-reader (she too has the Nook) and 100% of the books she reads on there are e-books from the library. With many libraries having reduced hours and reduced budgets (some are closing) it’s nice to see they can still get the recent releases for less $.

  4. Mary Murphy June 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    I recently bought an i pad, and I just love it. We went to Philadelphia for a long weekend and instead of three of my favorite books hanging heavy in my Times bag, I had my i pad chock full of favorites. I am currently reading Benjamin Black’s Elegy for April on it through its “Kindle” app. For me, with poor eyesight, the large print is a blessing.

    Delia, get one for your mom. She will love it. It has a bunch of great apps, does e mail, and much more.

  5. delialloyd June 16, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    Thanks, everybody. Hope i didn’t come across as too negative about e-readers. Just cautionary!

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