The hidden cost of e-books

As a person who spends about 12 hours a day in front of the computer screen, one thing that I can never do is read an article or a book from the computer screen.  Even with a two-page article, my impulse is to first print the article and then read it.  For this, I apologize to all the environmentalists who rightfully should blame me for killing trees.

On the other hand, as Kindle and other options for reading e-documents, e-articles and e-books become increasingly popular, the question becomes why we should be  willing to submit ourselves to the misery of agreeing to license contracts that impose important limitations on how you use a piece of content you own (“you can read but….can’t share, can’t sell, can’t lend”–and the list goes on).

Why should a reader be required to let the Amazon.com servers record every book they read? Why should that reader be forced to forfeit rights afforded to him or her by the existing copyright laws just because the contract that they never have actually read says so?

And who gives the right to Apple or Amazon.com to decide, “hey this is our device, so you can’t consume this content on it” or “well, we decided to remove the content from your device, without even asking to you“?

So, risking to sound as archaic as can be, here is the solution: continue flipping the paper pages for as long as we can. And here is why the book should (but will probably not) win over e-book. And if nothing else works to convince my readers to opt for hard copies of books, apparently e-books may be bad for physical health, too (bad for the eyes, dangerous if you have heart batteries and may explode!!!)