Thursday, 10 February 2011

Battle of the Hard Copy

In the battle of book versus e.reader, I thought I would argue for the case of The Book to the bitter end. Until today, when I find that Asda is selling a 5in View Quest Mediabox for £52.
Not that I have £52 aching to be spent, but it is half the price of a Kindle and not only has hundreds of books which can be stored, but you can also watch videos, listen to music and use a voice recorder on it.
It might have been the voice recorder feature that made my ears prick up – figuratively speaking – but anyway I started to look into this wonder tool which was clearly more than a gadget and definitely something that would improve my quality of life. In fact, it was becoming a puzzle how I have managed without one.

But then the reviews started talking about how "the device lacks a link to the internet through the 3G mobile phone network which would allow books to be downloaded anywhere". Hmmm… what’s that mean ? and I am on Vodafone and don’t want to change.
Then it was mentioned that it’s very bad for eye strain and can’t be read properly outside because of the LED backlight and if you are not going to get an e-ink screen you might as well get e.books on your laptop (or in my case my lovely, neat Notepad computer)

And all the time in the back of my mind is the thought that these items are helping towards the demise of real books, bookshops and libraries. Haven’t I just last weekend signed petitions for keeping libraries open? There really is nothing better than having a “hard copy” book which can be read anywhere, anytime and unless it’s the complete set of Encyclopaedia Brittanica, easily transportable. Add to this the fact that I bought 3 new books from Smiths last Friday and have just ordered 2 from Amazon today and I really have to wonder what I was thinking of.

So I have rethought the idea of getting an e.reader. Even if they start selling them as BOGOF offers, I won’t be moved.
 Anyone want to debate for the other side ?