Technology: Not Always Progress?

I agree with most of what Rob Neville says in his post, "10 Reasons Why eBooks Suck."

This isn't to negate the fact that there have been times when I've been tickled to find a page I needed scanned in on Google, or when as a distance learner I've been able to read entire volumes while at home in pajamas eating bon-bons responsibly learning about librarianship. (Ahem.) But those circumstances are far, far fewer than the instances that I read in print--either my pleasure-reading of print comics or novels, or the printed-out copies of online articles that read for work and for class. If I need to read something, and not quickly scan it, 80% of the time I'll print it out (excepting email, and in that case if I think I'll read it again, I often print it, as well--with my sincere apologies to trees).

Interestingly enough, I own an e-book reader. Oh, not a dedicated one--but I have a Dell Axim Pocket PC that we bought a few years ago... I think it was 2002. I primarily used it to write my thesis and other grad school homework/research--basically it was like a mini-laptop that I could carry in my purse. I eventually stopped using it because 1) I got a "real" laptop in 2005, 2) I started editing images a lot, and 3) the built-in battery lost its "oomph" after three years. But while I had it, it was handy not only for homework, but it was a handy-dandy e-book reader, too. I downloaded scads of public-domain stuff like Little Women and Ivanhoe, and it was nice to always have a wide selection of reading available in my purse. The back-lit screen also provided a nice solution for reading in bed at night. But if I was at home or at work and print books were handy, I always turned to them. I see ebooks and ebook readers as tools of necessity (or of necessary convenience), but not of pleasure.

Anyway, I don't need to re-state Rob's arguments here--I suggest reading his blog post. But I think it's worth noting, from a "Librarian for Digital Collections" who is a tech junkie and Library 2.0 fan, that sometimes the old-tech solutions are really the most practical.

Plus, as noted ad-infinitum elsewhere, bibliophiles like myself can't get over the feel, look, smell, and other tangibility of books. Until that's somehow available electronically, give me print instead.

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