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CON: A reader's options become limited

It's true. E-readers are the new black in the world of literature.

At Petaluma High, one can find converts in every classroom, with their sleek new Kindles or Nooks, separated from all those who still deal with old-fashioned paper and ink. There's no ignoring the advantages of these lightweight readers. However, there are a few factors any devoted reader must consider before going digital. The simple fact of the matter is that going for electronic books limits a person's options.

For those <NO1>people <NO>who love to share their favorite books, e-readers fall short in a major way. Many times if a person loves a book, she will want to share it with her friends. This is easy to do with paper and ink books — one needs only to hand it to her friends and hope to get it back someday. But with e-readers, it is impossible to share books unless those technology devotees are willing to pass around their $200 Kindles.

This leads to another feature of paper books: Cost.

For many people, books are something to invest money in, but it's often preferable to be able to borrow, check out or buy the books used. While some e-reader libraries have been formed so that people may temporarily check out books, they are rare and complicated to use. This means that on top of the initial cost of the tablet, which can range $69 to $199 for the new Kindles, people who use e-readers also are paying anywhere from a few dollars to $9.99 every time they decide they want to read a book. While this might not seem unreasonably expensive, the costs add up, especially if one is an avid reader. It's true that hardcover books can cost up to $30 apiece, but unlike their electronic counterparts, hardcovers can be borrowed, loaned or checked out. In a rocky economy like that of today, reducing costs through these measures is ideal, and it is another positive attribute of paper books.

One of the most basic ways in which paper books triumph is that there is no limit to where or how long one can read them. E-readers can only be read for so long before they need to be charged, which means it's best to read them when there is access to a power outlet. On top of this, some e-readers cannot be read in direct sunlight because of their screens. For those people who love luxuriating in the sun with their favorite novels, e-readers just won't cut it. Technology is definitely taking over the world of literature, but sometimes old-fashioned hard-copy books win out.

It comes down to this: They may look flashy, but e-readers limit the options of any reader. Technology is definitely taking over the world of literature, but sometimes old-fashioned hard-copy books win out.


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