Thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of people this gift-giving season will receive a Kindle, Kobo, tablet, or some other device that allows the user to read eBooks. I would’t be surprised if many of you are reading this on an eReader. And aren’t you lucky!
No more hauling twelve paperbacks in your suitcase. No more waiting in line at your local bookstore. Your book is delivered to your device in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the price of buying books the traditional way. Even borrowing from the library will be easier one day. No book would ever be out on loan and unavailable!
I personally believe that the print book is doomed. Today its folksy advocates wring their hands and fight for tradition but in a generation adults will get their reading material exclusively online. Their kids will look at print books like kids today look at typewriters.
The margins for publishers are too good to resist. How can you compare the cost of creating a file and running an eStore to the cost of printing, binding, wrapping, and shipping?
And then there are the authors. Sure, the per book royalty rate is much less on an eBook but with eBooks selling at such low prices they might make up the difference in volume. They can even forget the publishers all together and run their own eStores!
One of the biggest pro-eBook arguments involve the environment. Millions of trees would be spared. And that is a great thing.
But I would also suggest that the emissions that result from the manufacturing of these devices wipe out acres of trees at a time. And that’s something to worry about. Perhaps the next generation of eReaders should come with an oxygen mask.
The eReaders have my support entirely, except for the potential increase to environmental damage.
If you’re a writer, write. And if you’re a reader, keep reading. We need you!