Saturday, September 18, 2010

My eReader and Me

I don't own a cell phone (and God willing never will) but I did enter the 21st century and buy the Barnes & Noble eReader, Nook, last week.

--> I like reading books while eating and this is just way easier to handle with spaghetti.
--> I like reading outside while eating and if you've ever tried to hold open a book with your feet while reading and scarfing a torpedo sandwich....
--> The Nook, as opposed to Amazon's Kindle, accepts books in ePub format which means all of the public domain books available at Project Gutenberg are available for free. I figure with just the works of Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Conan Doyle the Nook will pay for itself.

--> You want pictures? The Nook handles photographs worse than an IBM 5150. You want color photos? Forget about it.
--> You can get newspapers and magazines at full newsstand print edition prices. Which is a serious ripoff for something that requires no paper, no printing, and no delivery.
--> You can only get a two year warranty. That means B&N believes the thing, at best, has a four year life expectancy.
--> They claim it's memory can hold 1,500 books. Unless you read at a rate of one book a day you will never fill the thing.
--> There is no Dewey Decimal System. All of your books are stored in one big box. If you get much over 200 books just browsing through the library will be an impossible task.
--> When it dies your entire library goes away, poof, forever.

Which leads to the macro problem with the entire eReader universe. Books printed on paper have a life expectancy in the centuries. Electronic books won't outlive their writers. When all of a civilization's knowledge is stored digitally it will only take one particularly nasty solar flare to return us to the Dark Ages.

No comments: