Paperless Book Green - Our Daily Green

Friday, August 27, 2010

Paperless Book Green

When the Apple iPad debuted in late April, a new wireless reader debate launched about iPads, Nooks, Kindles... and several more coming out before the end of the year. In an informal survey of friends on my Facebook page, opinion is split about 50/50 in favor of or rejecting an e-reader, with equally impassioned reasons and a lively discussion ensued. Some excerpts (with thanks to Anne, Susan, Beth, Ken,  Christine, Michael, and Karen for weighing in):
As much as I embrace technology, I love the feel and smell and ritual I guess, of holding and enjoying a good book.
... reads about five books a week normally. I got him an e-reader for papa's day and he loves it. For me it saves space in my house.
Call me old fashioned, but I am a bibliophile. Maybe its because of my history degree, but anywhere in my house where there is a bookcase or a shelf of any kind, we have books. I tried to count them once, when moving from my parents' house, and there were nearly 1,000 of them
I can carry around thousands of books in one hand with my iPad.
Nothing like the smell & feel of a book! Plus, when I see how far I've read, or how far I still need to read, it's a major motivator!!

...have the iPad, but I refuse to buy books for it, so I read the web, pdfs, free books on it
I'm big on technology, but I really don't think of it as the answer to everything, including things that I don't even really think of as problems.
book bookshelf,
a 2009 entry in a Spring Greening Contest at Inhabitat
The answer is clear that while eReaders will not be replacing books anytime in the near future they will certainly have an impact on book production. How much impact remains to be seen. The environmental implication of eReaders replacing books certainly shows a reduction in paper processing, but what about all the books already in existence?

The futuristic predictions of Farenheit 451 and George Orwell's 1984 where books are burned and no longer welcome certainly is far away, but hardcopy reading such as newspapers and magazines is sliding replaced by internet reading.

Our Daily Green's house is a reading home. Books are stacked in corners, on shelves, on tables, in boxes.  We borrow, trade, buy at thrift stores, and sell online. The revolving door for books is pretty active at our house. A book in many ways is a friend, either newly acquired or long lost, but always welcome.
Rebound Designs

Lately, we've seen several ways to re-purpose books. With digital formatting, words no longer are required to be captured on paper, so an old favorite book can find a new life. Two of my favorite findings are:

A true "pocketbook" and genuine alternative to book burning, from Rebound Designs etsy shop and a bookshelf fashioned from actual books. A myriad of ideas are found online, including furniture, lamps and other assorted repurposes for books.

While it doesn't seem paper books are going anywhere in the near future, there may be a market for repurposing books as eReaders gain acceptance and popularity. Our Daily Green is curious, if you could only save three paper books in your collection and everything else had to be digital, what would you choose?

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