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To e-read or not to e-read?

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As technology threatens to consume nostalgia, an admittedly dramatic question rises above the rest: to e-read or not to e-read. Whether to suffer the slings and arrows of bulky, tree-killing paperbacks, or turn to the ever-popular solution: electronic readers. Many argue that e-readers are efficient, user-friendly, and quickly rising in the ranks of America’s most beloved technological devices. However, many seem to be reluctant to convert to this convenient and environment friendly device. While e-readers such as the kindle offer minimal contrast screens that are easy on the eyes, many can argue that they are a little too similar to tablets or computers. Time that could be spent reading could easily morph into time spent watching YouTube, streaming Netflix, or playing Angry Birds.

And therein raises the ultimate conflict. E-readers offer access to millions of books with a click of a finger, instead of requiring buyers to drive across town, essentially reducing the amount of car emissions and money spent on gas. Furthermore, resources on this planet are dwindling, and trees are absolutely essential and extremely precious. And no one can argue that it is not convenient to carry around thousands of files and books on a device that weighs less than a pound. But in a world dominated by equally appealing game consuls, smartphones, and other devices, it is a comfort to have the institution of paper-bound books. Old-fashioned readers insist that there is no experience that can compare to the feeling of flipping the pages between one’s fingertips. Additionally, a bookstore is a true community area, a place where people gather and socialize. Owners of independent bookstores are united in their passion for physical, hard-bound books, and their disappearance would be devastating to their livelihood. Once again, no one can prove which reading experience is superior, and it’s up to us to decide. This dilemma is merely another example of a broader question: Do we replace history and tradition with technology and efficiency?

Or perhaps it is merely a matter of preference. My solution? Own both!
In the end, however, the point is dull: it really does not matter. The content of the writing is what truly matters, and perhaps the e-reader revolution will spark a new generation of avid readers and writers.



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