Having an e-Book replace my favorite dog-eared paperback is not something I want to think about. There is a certain sense of familiarity and comfort while reading a good paperback, sort of like hanging out with a good friend.

My trusty paperback can be carried in my purse and pulled out when waiting in the doctor’s office, and I can highlight favorite passages or doodle in the margins.

In addition, the paperback is both affordable and recyclable. The multimedia, portable, content devices you need to read an e-Book start out at $200. At those prices I can’t afford to recycle.

It has been 12 years since e-Books have showed up online in places like AOL, before the dawn of the "world-wide-web". After a decade, e-Book sales are but a pimple on an elephant compared to printed book sales. The Open e-Book Forum, a trade group for electronic publishers, states that sales at end of of 2005 were $11.8 million, a 41% jump from the prior year. Even though book selling giant Barnes & Noble Inc. only grew their printed book business 4.7%, their sales at year end (January 28, 2006) were $5.10 billion.

Before publishers make e-Books a staple of their marketing, digital rights management technologies (DRM) need to be put into place. Publishers have legitimate concerns because thousands of books are being circulated without any compensation to the author or publishers.

With new technologies always developing, the growth of "electronic reading" online and the availability of portable multimedia content devices, e-books have the possibility of finally ‘taking-off". It’s unlikely they’ll ever replace printed books.

Personally, part of the joy of reading is holding a printed book, either hardcover or paperback, while propped up on a couple of fluffy pillows, covered with a warm blanket, during the cold months, or in a hammock, dodging sunbeams during the summer months. Reading at the beach lends itself to paperbacks not e-books. I love to read when I go to the beach in between people watching and swimming.

I tried reading an e-book a friend wrote, in front of my computer. Believe me when I tell you I got fanny-fatigue while my eyes started to cross. I was told to make a copy of the e-book. HELLO! It would be cheaper to buy a printed book from the standpoint of paper consumption and my time.

With new technologies always developing, the growth of "electronic reading" online and the availability of portable multimedia content devices, e-books have the possibility of finally ‘taking-off". It’s unlikely they’ll ever replace printed books.

Copyright © 2006 by Pamela Beers. All rights reserved.

Pamela Beers is a freelance writer, educator and horse trainer who is an avid reader. Visit her website at http://www.pamelabeers.com

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