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The Problems with E-Books

Updated on August 29, 2012

Owning an E-book is a status thing of sorts, hip, cool, but they are not always the best thing to use for reading. They have limitations, for instance, how effed is it when you sit down and relax and press the button on your e-book, and nothing happens. It just broke or you forgot to charge the thing. Ugh!!! They seem to be energy hogs. The other thing is that many titles are simply not available for YOUR e-reader format or in any format. It can be years before the publisher puts it into an e-book format. This forces you to buy the paper copy, something maybe you sought to avoid. Ever try to sit in a hottub or bath and read with one? Huh, does the word electrocution or shock come to mind, no? It should. If it get wet, it dies in the fry. Okay, so you have read a fantastic book and now you want to lend it to another, hmm, maybe. Many e-books only allow a "lending" for 14 days or less that you bought. Plus, the formatting may not appear as you recall it on your e-book. Of course, there could be file corruption or incompatibility issues leaving some jumbled text to decipher. Sometimes, the images are not as appealing in an e-book as they are on paper. A printed book is far more durable and less fragile that the trusty e-reader. Just drop both on the floor, guess which one still works?


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago


    • Robert Rankine profile image

      Robert Rankine 5 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Hi all. I've recently read a few long running discussion threads on Goodreads about this and it's interesting to hear so many viewpoints, the complaints do tend to be about the same subjects and I can't argue. However, I would say that as with the majority of 'gadgets' if you want to call them that, they are to be used as a convenience rather than a replacement. When I bought my mac I didn't throw out all my cd's because I was now digital, when I buy a new coat I don't throw out my old ones (maybe the really stinky ones...) and so on. Sorry to throw out the cliche some people love them some people hate them but it's mostly true, my viewpoint has always been why not enjoy the best of both worlds? I love reading in the bath and as you say I wouldn't dream of using anything electronic in there, but I don't like carrying the bulk of a book on a train (especially when I like to read several books at once), there are loads of examples where the situation dictates what is suitable. Your point about formatting and availability is something I am learning about now and I think it will improve soon (deliberately vague there!), the competition from companies that distribute is strong so I'm very keen to see how this develops (also, new ereaders are coming out soon I believe and some of these issues should be sorted out). As a very boring tip, I have got into the habit of putting my phone, ereader and mac on charge every time I go to bed and it seems to last the following day....sorry, I know how boring that must have sounded!

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      yes, formatting conformity remains its Achilles heel.

    • profile image

      Jayfort 5 years ago

      The wife and I purchased an e-reader a couple of years back for a mutual anniversary gift. After a couple of months, she stopped using it. I stopped after about a year. I occasionally pick it up and read something on it but I guess I'm a bit of a Luddite when it comes to my reading materials. I prefer physical books over e-readers/digital.

      On more than one occasion I had just reached a really good part of a story only to have the e-reader tell me it was out of juice. It seems to spend more time hooked to the charger than being read. I've been disappointed with the "formatting" within a book file as seen at various resolutions/sizes on the screen.