Here is a news report about the new Kindle e-book reader from Amazon. I suppose the Kindle is a nice idea, but I am not impressed. It "...uses an "electronic ink" technology to mimic paper, not a computer screen". Oh? Okay, so it has a new kind of technology in the screen, it is still a computer screen.
The price is $400 and each book is $10. I buy my books at the used book store. The last time I spent $10 I got four books. It runs on electricity, which means it requires batteries and a charger and a hook up to power lines.
It is an electronic gadget. If you drop it, it is liable to break. Even if it is unbreakable, I would still be afraid of dropping it and having it break. I am relatively old and I was brought up to believe that dropping any kind of electronic device would be the end of it. Paperbacks can be dropped with negligible damage. Hardbound or big books may be damaged when dropped, but the pages will still be readable. And it is only the one book that gets damaged when you drop it, your entire library is not destroyed.
On the downside of books, they take up space. The big bookcase in my basement is full. There is no more room for books, but I keep bringing them home. I have been thinking about getting some kind of cheaper bookcase/cabinet for my paperbacks.
Why do I keep my old books? So I could lend them to my friends, if they ever found out I had a bunch of books. So my kids can read them. So I can pick them up and read them again if I am ever so inclined. Having the books on hand in a bookshelf provides easy access: just reach out and pick it up. So I do not have to maintain a list of the books I have read. Besides, it is sometimes difficult to remember what a book is about from just the title. Having the book in hand and being able to see the cover can help my memory.
I used to sell the books I had read, but then I found I was accumulating books I had not read. Usually I had started them and put them down for some reason. I would have this idea in the back of my head that I should pick them up and finish them sometime, but after several years, I realized that wasn't going to happen. So now I sell the books I don't read and keep the ones I have.
Another advantage of books is that you get about a thousand lines of resolution per inch on the printed page, but only about a hundred on any kind of computer screen. Now for simple text, 100 lines per inch is adequate, but for fine drawings and pictures, it is unacceptable. Of course with a computer, you can zoom in to see as much detail as you want, but then you can no longer see the big picture. For fine drawings, nothing beats paper and ink.