October 15, 2012 8:42PM [link]

More evidence of the ongoing shift away from hard copy: when I read paper books, newspapers, magazines, etc, I occasionally find myself glancing up at the top of the page expecting to find a clock. More and more, it's just more convenient to read on a screen. Not to mention the saved paper and distribution logistics. Sure, books feel nice in your hand and you can use them when the electricity is out. You can stuff a cheap paperback in your traveling bag and not worry if it gets lost or stolen.

But you can also carry a zillion books and magazines on a digital device that fits in your pocket or briefcase. You can search through the text. Copy and paste. Make annotations without feeling like you're writing in a book (something I could never bring myself to do.) You can download the content right to your device without having to leave your house. And, best of all, no dead trees or carbon-fuel-based shipping. The devices do use (often carbon-based) electricity themselves, but given how little electricity they do use, I expect the carbon footprint is still much lower.

The only content I read in hardcopy anymore is that which I share or lend or borrow. One copy of a newspaper can be passed between multiple people around a kitchen table. My local library has a much larger collection in regular books than in e-books. But these will come, with time.

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