Originally Posted by Steve Jordan
When you combine all of that with the production of one e-book reader, which is capable of replacing potentially hundreds to even thousands of books, the economy of scale and conservation of resources tips very strongly in favor of e-books.
Also true - but while it is possible to keep and productively use an ebook reader for many, many years (provided it doesn't break down), _generally_ speaking these gadgets rarely last for more than a few years, while a good book generally lasts a for long time. I doubt many of the current-day ebook readers will see more than 5 years of use.
And I have no idea whether these book readers use uncommon or rare materials - trees are self-replenishing (when done right). And of course these ebook readers also have to be transported (raw materials mined and shipped, half-products fabricated and shipped, final product assembled and shipped, store shipping). It is interesting to ponder these relative costs - but I find it hard to see a clear winner - so many factors.