The Wall Street Journal ponders this question:
Books are having their iPod moment this holiday season. But buyer beware: It could also turn out to be an eight-track moment.
While e-reading devices were once considered a hobby for early adopters, Justin Timberlake is now pitching one on prime-time TV commercials for Sony Corp. Meanwhile, Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle e-reading device has become its top-selling product of any kind. Forrester Research estimates 900,000 e-readers will sell in the U.S. in November and December.
But e-reader buyers may be sinking cash into a technology that could become obsolete. While the shiny glass-and-metal reading gadgets offer some whiz-bang features like wirelessly downloading thousands of books, many also restrict the book-reading experience in ways that trusty paperbacks haven’t, such as limiting lending to a friend. E-reader technology is changing fast, and manufacturers are aiming to address the devices’ drawbacks.
Yes, the WSJ brings us the hard hitting journalism that tells us that if you don’t have disposable income and/or aren’t a gadget person you may not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a dedicated e-reader!
“If you have the disposable income and love technology—not books—you should get a dedicated e-reader,” says Bob LiVolsi, the founder of BooksOnBoard, the largest independent e-book store. But other people might be better-off repurposing an old laptop or spending $300 on a cheap laptop known as a netbook to use for reading. “It will give you a lot more functionality, and better leverages the family income,” he says.
Wow! I never would have figured that out myself. To be fair, the article does go on to offer some contrasting opinions on the pros and cons of various devices.
But I find this debate tiresome in some ways.