The Kindle and its kin, like the newly announced Sony e-readers, will undoubtedly change the face of publishing in time, but the Delphic pronouncements of its partisans may be a tad overblown.
By: Sam Kornell August 05, 2009
Are printed books on the road to obsolescence? If so, what might it mean for the vast industry dedicated to their production and sale? Digital books are value neutral — they're nothing more than a different distribution platform for the same product, the written word - but, if the rhetoric is accurate, they may be about to cause a "massive amount of pain and suffering in the book industry" as one analyst recently put it to me. Read Full Article Here.
“Dead Tree Format” I hear this phrase quite a bit these days, especially when it comes to advertising spin for digital readers. While all this is well and good for the trees and the Book Industry’s Treatise on Responsible Paper Use, which will require publishers to increase their recycled paper use to 30% by 2012, it doesn’t address the issue of e-waste. Like the i-pod and the i-phone, where every new model that comes out is a must have, e-readers contribute to a glut of digital waste product. Compared to paper, digital waste is more costly to recycle, and some of it cannot be recycled at all. These devices are filled with all kinds of toxic elements that wind up in our landfills, poisoning the earth. Now I am not saying that digital devices are the scourge of the modern world and should be avoided at all costs, but, consumers need to adopt a more eco-friendly use/reuse/recycle decision making process when they feel the urge for the latest digital gadget. Books are recycled far more diligently than electronics. We pass them along to friends, we sell them on eBay and other auction sites, we donate them to libraries, we sell them to used book stores, and we offer them up on book swapping sites. Books that are irreparably damaged can be pulped and recycled. Unfortunately, what happens most often with digital products is that the old one ends up in the trash because digital recycling isn’t as easy for the consumer. Just some food for thought.
Cheryl Anne Gardner