By Johanna Fleischman
No one likes paying $120 for a textbook. I despise paying even $20 for one of Dan Brown’s novels. Luckily, I can buy The Da Vinci Code for $9 from Amazon.com, Kindle Edition. The recent surge of eBooks, iBooks, Kindle, and Nook are all examples of how printed publications are now available electronically.
Various companies are becoming aware of the convenience of online books. After Amazon first popularized the trend with the Kindle—an electronic device from which numerous books can be uploaded—Barnes and Noble followed with the Nook, and Apple with their iBooks for the iPad. These devices allow books and magazines to be read faster and cheaper.
Kindle and Nook use special ink technologies that make for crisp, clear reading; even the text size can be changed. With this technology, the device can be read in bright sunlight, and the ink screen is not harmful for the eyes. Most books can be purchased for ten dollars or less, which is considerably lower than the price of a new hardcover novel.
Not only novels can be purchased more conveniently. Various textbooks, which cost college students thousands of dollars, can be purchased for the Kindle. Many titles are cheaper than the hardcover version, and are also much lighter: the Kindle weighs less than one pound. With the storage capacity of 200 books, plus the ability to store extra data on a memory card, the Kindle makes carrying college textbooks easy. Who knew that four textbooks could fit in a jean pocket?
The Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, eBookwise, and iPad are all helping to preserve the environment as well. For every new book that is printed, three kilograms of carbon emissions are produced (www.greenlivingonline.com). Because of the new ink technology used by most modern eBooks, electronic emissions are not comparable to the costs of making a new book. No backlighting and no electricity required to display the text on the screen certifies eBook reading as greener than reading either a new book or off a computer screen.
The benefits of converting to the Kindle, the Nook, or the eBook—among the other reading gadgets available—are incredibly positive to both the environment and the wallet. With hundreds of books available, only a few clicks away, the convenience and conservation of the new media phenomena cannot be denied.
Imagine traveling in an airplane, a screaming baby on your right and a stewardess squeezing by with her trolley on the left. Luckily, there is no need to worry about finishing the only book you brought. With your Kindle, you will have 199 more books to read.