Friday, April 30, 2010

The Greenest Way to Read

Which is more environmentally friendly: an e-reader or an old-fashioned book? The New York Times has the answer for you after carrying out life-cycle assessments of both.  But, the article concludes :
All in all, the most ecologically virtuous way to read a book starts by walking to your local library.
Then again, for how much longer will your local library (even supposing you have one in the first place) have books printed on paper?
(Readers' responses to the article are here.)


Zulfadli Zainal said...

yeah, its kind of confusing which one is more environmental friendly. just like we are still destroying the earth in any way.

Fadzlishah Johanabas said...

I am a child of the digital age. I love all things digital. Hell, I even have short stories and a few ebooks on my iPhone. But books...there's something about feeling the weight of a paperback in your hands, feeling the rough texture of the pages on your fingertips, inhaling that particular book-scent; ebooks can never replace all those.

That said, e-readers are definitely a better choice for agents and editors, who don't have to print out manuscripts to read. A majority of publishers now accept electronic submissions, and just joined the bandwagon.

I know ebooks are well in their way of becoming the norm (maybe once the price of a good kindle/e-reader isn't so steep), but please, I really do hope that we won't one day see physical books only in libraries.

Josette said...

Well, I prefer the old-fashioned way of reading: with physical books. But in a way, e-books are kind of environmentally-friendly.

Martin Bradley said...

Having once been an antiquarian book binder repairer and restorer, and a designer I can honestly say that I love books. The feel, smell and sight of books.

But, that said, I now collect digital books, why, because they are much more convenient for me to carry around.

I have a few thousand e-books, e-novels and non-fictional too, all kept on an external hard (500GB)drive which is half the size of a paperback book.

When I need to I access the books on my laptop. It doesn't replace my love for books, but supplements them.

I can't walk to my local library, which is in Ipoh, and even if I did it is so poorly stocked I would come away with my hands empty.