E-Book readers are little devices that are all set to make a big impact on the way you read books. Armed with an e-book reader you are never quite alone any where any time. You can never to be caught without your favorite book. Have you ever stopped to think that this device has a greater impact on society than just being your portable library?
If owning an e-book reader is like making a fashion statement, then going green is equally in fashion. In a broader perspective, an e-book reader attempts to reduce the strain on the environment. What is the greenest way to read? Is e-book the answer? We are not sure, it depends.
Nothing can replace the joy of holding a book in your hand and reading it. Nothing can come close to hours spent browsing through books at your local bookstore. The smell, the touch of books is hard to substitute. A book is still one of the best gifts you can think of, and this holds true over the ages.
Do you know that one ton of paper is just about enough to make 3000 copies of paperbacks? And the bestseller list speaks about a million copies of the chart-toppers. How many trees would you have to chop to make a million copies of just one book? What about the billion others? Losing trees at this rate would hurt generations to come.
Paper manufacturing by itself is an incredibly polluting process. Most of them are printed overseas, shipped all over the world, then trucked from the port to distribution centers and finally to the bookstore at the corner of your street.
E-books are pretty much at par with reusable bottles and bags, in terms of their ability to give consumers affordable, green-buying alternatives. LG’s new e-reader is fitted with its own solar panel and boasts of running on clean, renewable solar power. Yet all others in the market need recharging from the grid. The problems of energy consumption remain unavoidable. The other hazards include raw materials used to make e-books, proper disposing of old devices, to name a few.
Greenpeace monitors the environmental impact of the constant consumption of electricity. The number of carbon footprints left by these e-devices also needs to be accounted for. In the same breath, an hour of energy spent on a laptop or e-book reader equals the amount of energy expended to create four sheets of paper.
E-Book readers veritably contribute to the drive of eliminating paper, which is gaining momentum. E-readers backpacks are neither heavy nor huge, yet they are content about carrying a bookcase of books that matter to them. You do not have to drive down to the book store or make a trip to various stores for that particular book you need. Most of the e-Readers allow wireless downloads.
People with limited vision can easily change the font size on the screen and make reading comfortable. They can also switch from text to speech mode on the e-book reader, instead of waiting for the book to be published in large print or as an audio book. On the other hand, the industry is getting fragmented due to multiple incompatible formats of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology.
The question as to which method of reading books is greener, still remains largely unanswered. Only time will tell.