Perhaps the most ridiculous p to e comparison I’ve ever seen
Okay, I’m not prone to use words like “ridiculous” in describing other people’s opinions…and I don’t really think I’m doing that here.
The chart (really more of a table) presented in this
hypothetically doesn’t offer an opinion, although it does have some evaluative comments (“incredibly hard”).
What it does is compare a paperbook (p-book) to a
and to an iPad.
It compares price, weight, battery life, pros, and cons.
Notice that I said it compares “a paperbook”.
That’s like comparing an apple to a bushel of oranges. 😉
They list the cost of a p-book at $15.52…and the cost of a Paperwhite at $120.
It would make more sense to compare a bookcase to a Paperwhite.
If we start out saying that a bookcase costs, oh, $100, that’s still not the way to do it.
Even if we discount the free cloud storage (which would be a big mistake), a Paperwhite can hold what would be many bookcases worth of books.
We’ll go with…you want the complete works of Shakespeare, the Harry Potter series, and the top five New York Times hardback fiction equivalent bestsellers…plus a single bookcase or a Paperwhite. We’ll use $100 for the bookcase, $120 for the Paperwhite.
Shakespeare in hardback (that seems to be their comparison): I’m finding new ones for as low as about $25.
Shakespeare in e-book: free
At this point, we are close enough to even. 🙂
Harry Potter hardback boxed set of the 7: $116.55 (that’s a considerable discount, by the way)
Harry Potter in e-book: $57.54…oh, and you could read them all in a month for $9.99 with
but you don’t own them then, so that’s not really a fair comparison.
The e-book choice is about $40 cheaper at this point.
Now, let’s add in the bestsellers:
I simply don’t think you can reasonably suggest that it is less expensive to have a library of p-books than a library of e-books.
Yes, you can re-sell p-books…but if you don’t, you pay to store them. It’s rent/property taxes/mortgage for the floor under the bookcase. As a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager, I had to always make that calculation…it’s why a slow-selling book couldn’t profitably be kept sitting around in the store…you would eventually have lost money keeping it there.
The pros and cons listed also seem…odd, to me.
I don’t want to take too much away from the chart, so I’ll just mention one.
One of two cons listed under the Papewhite is “…Still not water-proof”.
You know, because p-books do just fine when you drop in the bathtub. 😉
Let me be very clear that the excellent EBOOK FRIENDLY did not create this chart. It appears in an interesting Wall Street Journal article (to which they link), and is reportedly based on the School Library Journal’s 2015 Book Pricing Report.
There are pros and cons to p-books, EBRs (E-Book Readers), and tablets…I just don’t think this chart presents them in a particularly useful way.
Oh, I am going to mention one more thing from the chart.
The iPad is described as “…hard to read on in the sun”.
The use of two prepositions in a row like that can be jarring (what was wrong with, “…hard to read in the sun”?). It reminds me of this old “joke” (it’s not exactly a joke) designed to make grammar purists react the way most people do to fingernails on a blackboard (which, I’ve heard, is so irritating because it is a similar frequency to a monkey’s panic vocalization…you don’t like the sound, because you think a leopard is about to leap into your troop).
A young child is sick upstairs.
A parent, wanting to console the child, brings in a book the child had loved a few years ago…but which the child now thinks they have outgrown.
The child says, “What did you bring that book I didn’t want to be read to out of up here for?”
I’ve probably told this one before on this blog, but legendarily, Winston Churchill was upbraided for ending a sentence with a preposition. Churchill knew how to speak to the common people, and made the choice to use accessible language. Churchill’s reported response was, “…that is the sort of grammatical pedantry up with which I will not put.” 🙂
I would guess all of my readers could come with reasons why e-books can be better than p-books, so let me flip that: give me some arguments why having a library of p-books is better than a library of e-books. You can do that (and share other thoughts) for me and my readers by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.