The future is here, and it wants you to read

Etta+Lynch-Beaty

Many students, like Etta Lynch-Beaty pictured above, use South’s library to read and escape the busyness of the school day.

Hannah Garry, Business Manager

You can see ads for new electronic devices every day. One that may have caught your eye a few years ago was the Amazon Kindle. The Kindle is a 5 x 7.5 inch, 8.5 ounce device with a screen for reading all your favorite novels on the go. Other e-book devices following shortly after include the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Apple iPad. And thus the debate began.

Old fashioned book snobs complain that America is desperate to make even the simplest things, like books, even simpler using the technology of our day and age. They argue that this is just one more way that technology is making us Americans lazy.

But I have to argue just the opposite. If anything, e-book devices encourage more and more people who would otherwise not have the time to read a novel to pull out their Kindle/Nook/iPad at the bus stop/waiting room/post office and do just that. E-books aren’t promoting laziness; they’re promoting the intellectual advancement of the average American (something we could surely use).

Possibly the most important argument for e-books is that they’re just more ecologically friendly. According to Newsweek, the carbon emissions required to make 40 to 50 books equals the carbon emissions required to make one e-reader (which offers access to hundreds of books). They use zero paper and you don’t have to worry about the novels you purchase taking up space on your bookshelf. In the state our world is in today, don’t you think we should be focusing more on doing everything we can to be ecofriendly than what kind of media people are using to get their Stieg Larson fix?

The e-book is a win-win. Its screen is specially made to be easy on the eyes and the novels you can buy are often cheaper (and sometimes free) than picking up the hardcover at Barnes & Noble.

Running away from technology won’t do anything for us. We’ve come too far to turn our backs on one of the only innovations actually encouraging Americans to use their minds. We should instead embrace technology and strive to use it in the way that the makers of the Kindle did.

Iain Demay reading in the South High library. Photo credit: Hannah Garry