Why Not Digital?

The question that everyone has been polite enough not to ask, as yet, is why I haven’t purchased some flavor of e-reader to prevent my needing the 7th bookcase mentioned in the last post. Nicole just asked about others who have or have not purchased them yet.

I’ve considered it.  But as yet, here are my reasons for not having bought one.

1) To date, the cost has been prohibitive.  With the dropping prices we’re already seeing and Griffey’s assertions that we could see a $99 Reader for Christmas (not a huge stretch anymore), this is fading.

2) I’m still concerned about format type.  Do I buy a Nook? BN doesn’t seem particularly stable. Do I buy a Kindle? There’s DRM. Do I buy some other flavor? Concern about availability and longevity.

3) I get a large portion of my books from work.   Legally acquired, processed, etc. And I don’t keep them permanently. My tax dollars are paying for my short term access.  Leaves more money for yarn.

4) Used books stores, I love them.  I don’t get to any very often these days and I’ve even skipped the last few library booksales.  But the clearance section at Half-Priced Books is my friend.  And those used books, wherever I’ve acquired them from, then get shipped on to the Opera Singer, go to the library booksale, get handed to friends.  A cycle of sharing, with each of gaining a smidge of something from the book.

5) Screen time and the non-commute. I’m in front of  a computer all day.  Often, that continues at home. In between I have a ten minute driving commute, which isn’t enough to get through an audiobook chapter.  So I don’t really want another screen device (though I have some netbook envy at the moment).  And the Kindle isn’t, but I see that as mostly a travel device for me.  If I was on the road more, that would make perfect sense.  I took a dozen books with me to New York last trip–the majority of which did not follow me home. But I don’t do that regularly. If I was going for a flat e-reader, I’d probably lean towards the Ipad or something of that nature because one can do more than just read uploaded documents.  I could play Angry Birds or hack badly through emails…

6) I’m a little terrified of just how much I could impulse buy that way… Oooh, new title here, oooh, new title there. Anyone who has witnessed the “adding to the reading list” frenzy when a new issue of Romantic Times hits my desk.

Overall, I’m not anti-e-reader. It’s just not where I am at the moment.  In another year or another generation of e-readers, perhaps that will change.

For now, I have plenty to read.


  1. Comment by Erin:

    I love this post! I’m working on one of my own about this very issue. I especially agree with #5.

  2. Comment by Becky:

    We recently bought Kindles. I love it, but I completely agree with everything you wrote. At the moment the dilemma I’m having is that it seems the books I want to read are not available on the Kindle or at the local library! Even though I got a Kindle I still would love an iPad, but the price seems very, very prohibitive when the prices of other eReaders are coming down sooo much!

  3. Ping from To eRead or not to eRead « The Stack Sleuth:

    […] new and improved eReader as I type this. Technology moves at lightening speed. A fellow librarian, Abigail over at Hedgehog Librarian recently did a post about eReaders and her reasons for not going with one […]

  4. Comment by Abigail:

    And i have to say I’m a little jealous of your Kindle for your educational stuff–especially when I think of all of the paper I’ve had to purge from my grad school days…

  5. Comment by Abigail:

    Thanks Erin!!

  6. Ping from Let us then evoke Anathem: Hedgehog Librarian:

    […] if it didn’t like the angle I was sitting at, which I found annoying, and ultimately, it still felt like screen time.  It does weigh less than the hardcover though and I haven’t had to charge […]