In recent times electronic eBooks are becoming evidently more popular for book lovers around the world, as an eBook can be delivered instantly to an E-reader device or home computer. An E-reader is an electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital books. Amazon have released their version of a hand held reading device called the Kindle, similarly Barnes & Noble’s Nook is also capable of allowing the purchase and download of a new book within minutes or seconds. It seems as though eBooks are a new viable alternative to traditional books, however despite its convenience, the eBook has a lot of drawbacks.
First of all E-readers can set you back £200, which before you have even purchased any eBooks is a lot of money. With a lot of printed books setting you back a few pounds, you could purchase dozens before it amounts to the price of an E-reader. Another disadvantage of eBooks is that most commercial eBooks are sold with strict digital rights management (DRM) restrictions upon them, preventing owners from lending or selling books, and sometimes from transferring a book from one device to another of their own. This can be very frustrating when trying to lend a book to friend and it has also led to complaints from book fans that you don’t really own your book, but only lease it from the booksellers for a period of time.
When comparing whether a paper book is more environmentally friendly than eBooks it can be debated as virtual books have no carbon footprint, however in spite of this the E-reader can cause some environmental problems. Its manufacture requires the extraction and burning of fossil fuels to transport to stores or homes. Comparing E-readers with traditional books, up to 100 books would have to be purchased and stored on the E-reader in order for its manufacture to be offset by energy and pollution saved. Overall with eBooks you miss out on the traditional and fun past-time of reading – we all like to go on holiday and read by the pool, but this may not be a practicable option if you’ve got an electronic device holding your books. There are so many online book stores that offer a wide selection of books at great prices that you can always be fully satisfied you’re getting the best reading experience.