Reasons Not to Get an E-Reader

The front of the Amazon Kindle DX
Image via Wikipedia

Recently, I was reading David Carnoy of CNET, who wrote an article entitled, Why You Shouldn’t Get an E-Reader. I’m not sure I agree with Carnoy fully, but he makes some interesting points. He divides those who buy readers into three categories

  • Owners who rarely spend any time using their devices
  • Those who do some reading
  • Heavy Users who find the Kindle convenient for storing a lot of reading material

The issue with the Kindle, like many e-books is an emotional one of pricing. As I mentioned previously, it is not just the purchasers, but the writers and publishers trying to feel through this issue. You can get an older, used, perfectly wonderful book for pennies, but the same book in ebook format is at full list price. I have that sticker shock myself. It took me two weeks to pick my first book for that reason. But there was still plenty to read.

Teleread made the most useful response. Nothing about the points made are different than any other type of gadget. Some people always use a gadget more than others. E-Book sales are growing. The Kindle numbers are up, as are the numbers of other readers.

To rebut Carnoy, we have Steve O’Hear of TechCrunch, in his article of last month. He points out that an e-book reader like the Kindle, unlike the iPad or such, is a device that allows you to focus on the task of reading without the distractions of multitasking…multiple windows, etc. These devices have screens that are less prone to eye-strain and, while they have internet, are not designed as internet devices. The battery life is also measured in days or weeks,  as opposed to hours.

So, I will keep going back to both sides. Those who think an e-reader is obsolete in the age of the iPad, and those who see the benefit of a dedicated device. What do you think?