The Battle Continues: eBooks or Hardbacks?

David Carnoy (CNET) weighs in on the topic. He tells Huffington Post readers that plenty of people have come up with lists of reasons why ebooks are better than paper books, but that he finds the opposite point of view more challenging. So here's his list of why hardcovers are better:

1. Spilling a drink on a hardcover doesn't cause it to die
2. You can't press a leaf in an e-book, even a virtual one
3. You can't have an author sign an e-book (yet)
4. Ebooks don't float in a pool
5. You can't use an e-book as a doorstop or to prop open a window
6. A hardcover doesn't crack when you drop it
7. An ebook has no resale value on Amazon
8. You don't have to recharge a hardcover
9. In a pinch, you can burn a hardcover to keep warm
10. You don't have to feel ripped off after paying $12.99 for something that's just bits and bytes

Comments

Who cares
2. You can't press a leaf in an e-book, even a virtual one - software could be written to press a virtual leaf into an ebook
3. You can't have an author sign an e-book (yet) -- author cards that can be signed will replace the signing of books in the future
5. You can't use an e-book as a doorstop or to prop open a window - that is what doorstops are for.
7. An ebook has no resale value on Amazon -- The resale of books hurts authors. Ebooks allow authors to get paid for each sale. That is a good thing.
10. You don't have to feel ripped off after paying $12.99 for something that's just bits and bytes

Stupid
1. Spilling a drink on a hardcover doesn't cause it to die -- A drink ruins a book just like it would ruin an ebook
4. Ebooks don't float in a pool -- neither do hardcover books
8. You don't have to recharge a hardcover -- you have to have light to read paper books. That means having power. If you have power you can always plugin your ebook reader.
9. In a pinch, you can burn a hardcover to keep warm

8. Don't necessarily have to have power to read a physical book. Heard of natural light...the sun? Open your curtains/blinds/shades.

An ebook that has an e-ink screen will run a week or two without needing a charge. If you don't have access to power for a week or two you have bigger issues.

>Heard of natural light...the sun?

Heard of something called "night?" If you don't have power than your hardback book is pretty useless for at least 1/3 of every day.

Heard of candles? Just saying that you don't have to have electrical power for physical books. But power is pretty convenient.

That's an additional product though, if you can't compare a book to an ebook on it's own it's not a valid point.
You should have said streetlamp ;)

Street lamp implies electricity. Or gas, which is another source of power.

But it's freely available :)

Umm...I have to pay for my electricity...or natural gas...or propane. Where is it free?

I can read my ebook by candle.

The whole power argument is bogus. I find it weird that ebook haters want to create a post apocalyptic world that has no power so that they have a reason to love paper books.

I'm not an ebook hater. Far from it. I don't think it's an either/or situation. Never have. Never make assumptions.

10. You don't have to feel ripped off after paying $12.99 for something that's just bits and bytes

Pay? Pay for something? What makes them think that happens? ;)

Pressing a virtual leaf in an e-book has to be one of the silliest things I've run across yet.

...3. You can't have an author sign an e-book (yet)...
Not true. Nook has replaceable covers. Sign the cover until full, buy a new cover, hang the old cover as art.

The software in your computer is just bits and bytes. The software in your Wii is just bits and bytes. The software that controls a nuclear power plant is just bits and bytes.

As a librarian, I'd rather not see anyone use one of our collection's hardcovers in ways described in items 1, 4, 5, 6 or 9. Thank you very much.