There is a tech review article in the Times today on the new Sony Reader. It is the latest attempt to produce an effective portable digital replacement of a book. One of the cool plusses of something like this is you can carry around 80 books in one device that is about the size of a paperback book. Other companies have produced similar devices, but they have yet to catch on. Sony’s version is $300 and is mostly targeted to commuters and frequent travelers. They have 15,000 titles ready for download at their online store. Digital book versions are a few dollars cheaper than their paper counterparts. Sony may have a bit more hope this time around as the Ipod has people more comfortable with downloading digital media.
I for one will not be buying one anytime soon. I am an avid reader, and no digital device will replace the experience of reading a book. I also still get a daily newspaper. Even though I hate wasting resources of any kind, I find it difficult to let paper publications go. Everyone has things they don’t want to sacrifice even though it is wasteful. I try to balance it out by eliminating waste in other parts of my life: Recycling everything possible, short showers, keeping the furnace low, a travel cup instead of paper coffee cups, refilling my Nalgene bottle with tap water, etc. All of us can reduce our environmental impact by being conscious of the hundreds of little choices we make each day. I try to be sure that I am using a resource, rather than wasting it. Washing dishes uses water, letting the water run while washing - waste. I still have lots of room to improve, mostly on the big ticket items like a more efficient car. Until I can afford to attack the big ones, I try to save as much as I can by doing all the little things. I’ll try to save as many trees as I can, so I can continue to curl up with a good book.