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Old 09-07-2007, 11:56 AM   #1
Adam B.
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10 Reasons Why Paper Books Suck

This is the yin to this thread's yang.

Word of bias: I love electronics and hate paper.

  • While a single paper book is portable, when you start collecting them, the size adds up quickly.
  • Paper is difficult to search through, and hard to reference. Want to quote a snippit of a book? You have to rewrite it.
  • Paper degrades over time. It starts to yellow, and will eventually fall apart.
  • Distribution: Looking for a specific book? Go search through your local book stores, when you don't find it there, buy it online. Then wait for it to show up. Loose interest and/or excitement by the time it arives.
  • Environment: Books are dead trees. Trees make oxygen. We breathe oxygen. The more paper books you read, the more you're killing the rest of us.
  • Portability. I'm pretty sure I have mild ADD. You might as well. When I get bored with one thing, I move on to another for a while. If I carried around all the newspapers and books I could *possibly* want to read, I'd have a bad back too.
  • You look like an old person when you read paper books. Look at all the kids running around with their ipods and cell phones. Do you think you look cool reading that old fashioned stack of papers? I don't think so...
  • Paper Burns. You've probably read the article about the guy who's house was declared a fire hazard because of his paper book collection. If he collected ebooks, his house would be clean and tidy, and he'd still be living there.
  • Personal Injury. The edge of a sheet of paper can be as dangerous as a razor blade. When I was in grade school, I would use a sheet of paper to cut my unsuspecting friends. I bet they wished that I had an iLiad back then. You can't get a paper cut from an ebook device. Also, ever hear the phrase "throw the book at him"? You wouldn't do that if it was an ebook reader. You wouldn't want to risk breaking it by throwing it at someone.
  • Data integrity. If I spill something on a book, drop a match on it, or if it gets caught in a paper shredder, I'm stuck with a clump of useless wood pulp. I can't get another copy of it without buying it again, and there's no way to recover it. With an ebook, I can go back to where I bought it from, and simply download it again. No hassle, no fee, just a few clicks, and my collection is back.

I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can think of at the moment. I know, I'm reaching with a few of them.
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:39 PM   #2
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I really like "personal injury" This is going to be a real sales argument
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:56 PM   #3
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I really like "personal injury" This is going to be a real sales argument
You can use that on your site if you like.
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:14 PM   #4
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Here's another one for you:

Security. Buy your books with DRM and you are safe in the knowledge that only you can read those precious books that you've bought with your hard-earned money. With paper books, anyone can take them and read them, which obviously isn't fair. You've bought them, so only you should be able to read them.

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Old 09-07-2007, 01:27 PM   #5
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Why, oh why do you encourage them, HarryT?
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:14 PM   #6
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Kudos to you Harry. That was really ingeneous.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:46 PM   #7
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But, if I drop a paper book I may scuff up the cover and loase my place for a while but with an ebook I could shatter the screen and make all of them unreadable until I get it fixed.

If someone steals my pbook, they get only that book. If they steal my ereader they get copies of all the ebooks I had loaded on it.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:46 PM   #8
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That sort of thing belongs in the other thread, RWood!
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:56 PM   #9
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That sort of thing belongs in the other thread, RWood!
Yeah! No pro-pbook people in this thread darnit!
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:57 PM   #10
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ok, ... understood, brb.
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:02 PM   #11
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That sort of thing belongs in the other thread, RWood!
I didn't see the other thread. I wasn't out to spoil the punch. I haven't bought a pbook in ages. Even switched the Analog subscription from paper to electronic. (Amazing luck as the renewal notice arrived the day after I found Fictionwise offered emagazines in LRF format.)

Sorry to have rained on your parade. (Cue the elephants. )
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:41 PM   #12
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[*]Paper degrades over time. It starts to yellow, and will eventually fall apart.
[/LIST]
Well, anything for fun, I always say...

Not only will a paper book yellow and crumble, but it may harbor mold and mildew spores, potentially posing a health hazard-- not to mention a bad smell!

Paper uses valuable resources to transport. Reproduction costs of paper are so high, they may put most books forever out of reach of those in the developing world.

You can't search paper -- not one book, and not your whole library. So when you think, in the middle of the night, "Where did I read that?" if all you have is paper, forget about going back to sleep.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:35 PM   #13
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...but it may harbor mold and mildew spores, potentially posing a health hazard-- not to mention a bad smell!
I didn't even think about that! Good catch.
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:17 AM   #14
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Here's another: I've had several cats who liked to sharpen their claws on paper books. I have yet to see any of them attempting this with an ebook.
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Old 09-08-2007, 05:36 AM   #15
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With a pbook, anyone can read it. With an ebook, you might get DRM so nobody can read it.
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