Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Monday, March 09, 2009

Read an E-Book Week: Better than the real thing?

For the longest time, I've been an ardent supporter of good, old-fashioned print books. I realize that E-books have been around for a long time, though not as long as print books (understandably), but I never really quite caught on to the E-book craze.

In my defense, I prefer to have a book I can carry around. I like to read while I'm doing housework, waiting for the water to boil on the stove, waiting for something to happen/finish/work (usually work! haha), and while riding along in the car when we take a long trip. (The same can be said about going on long flights or train rides, but I'm iffy with flying right now after my daughter and I had to spend the night at an airport in Vegas. Ugh!)

I also don't like sitting down for long periods of time -- unless I am writing!

But, there are still some good qualities about Ebooks.

First of all, E-books are more environmentally friendly. You don't need to cut down a tree to make an E-book. They save paper, time, resources and money.

Second, they're more affordable. If you can't afford the print version of a book, chances are good you'll be able to afford the E-book version.

And, finally, there's an E-book for everyone. They're not just something you download onto your Palm anymore. There's Kindle, Adobe, eReader, etc. There's even some E-books available as a Word document! And oftentimes, you don't need to purchase special equipment to read an E-book. The special equipment, like a Palm or Kindle, makes it easier to carry around your E-books and to have them all in one place, but they're not the be-all and end-all to E-book accessibility. I have Adobe Acrobat Reader for the PDF files, as well as eReader and DigitalWebBook Reader (DNL files). Some E-books are even available in HTML formats, and on author sites.

While I know I'll never give up my love for ACTUAL printed books (and I'm in the process of putting together my own library of books), I have found that E-books aren't all that bad. Just as I have quite the library of print books, I also have quite the library of E-books.

Traditional bibliophiles will cling to print books, saying they prefer the touch, the smell and the feel of a real book in their hands. (Yes, some even say they prefer the SMELL of a real book! Myself, I'd rather focus my scent on coffee.) But E-books are just as good to read if you can't read a print book. Or if you're unable to read a print book. It's definitely one other form of media you can enjoy reading books in, and one worthy of being counted as a worthwhile form of reading.

I think as long as people are reading books, print or otherwise, there's no reason to bicker over which one is better. Actually, I think we should keep the comparison limited to the actual books that are read, and not the format they are read in.

Most recent free E-book download: Fallen Angels by Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven and Michael Flynn
Get it here, with others, at: http://www.baen.com/library/

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