Read It and Weep

A gentleman named David set me straight on converting wood chips into paper in comments to an earlier blog. I had wanted to tackle another paper-related subject then but ran out of brain power. His comments sparked another idea.

He noted that we use paper for books, letters to Mom, and also in the bathroom but not just for reading.

In libraries, bookstores, and warehouses books abound. But not all of them are on paper nowadays. There is an industry devoted to putting books online; in fact, ebooks now have their own specially designed readers.  

But have you read any good e-books lately? Of course not. Who in their right mind wants to read a book in bed holding a bulky laptop? How do you curl up with a good e-book? One company markets its digital reader with these very words, but can you afford $299.99 for the device? Every now and then, I enjoy a good tear-jerking story; with a digital reader I would be afraid of wetting critical electronic parts.

OK, so maybe mainstream fiction isn't suited to the electronic world. But college textbooks may be. You can exchange texts or rent them online. Does anyone know of any schools that are providing full texts online? My 10-year-old accesses his homework assignments online; it won't be long before he's actually crunching numbers and writing essays on the computer. He already prefers to cut-and-paste thank you notes following Christmas and his January birthday.

So I actually do not use paper to write to my mom, who turned 79 in March. She used to write to me faithfully, these wonderful, detailed missives about her day and about family members I have not seen in 20 years. I have kept many of them. Now she just sends e-mail and I do the same, although on special days I will send a sappy Hallmark card in the mail. She prefers e-cards.

And finally, there's toilet paper. I don't see any electronic options there….

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on May 22, 2008