Yup – you didn’t see this one coming, right?
Ebooks are a fantastic invention, in fact the reason I don’t yet have a Kindle is because I know myself – everything else would come second as I’d have a reading fest over the next few months (possibly, years). The sheer convenience of an e-reader strikes me as stellar. A pocket-book-sized little tablet on which you carry your whole library.
But there are three reasons to hang onto paper books.
Firstly, a paper book is a thing. Like a teddybear, you can hold it, hug it, kiss it if you’re thus inclined; more importantly you know you’ve got it and it’s not going to disappear due to a file corruption or an “upgrade”, or similar intangible diseases that befall ebooks and all other electronic files. You’ve got it; you’ve got it.
Secondly, imagine this on a Kindle:
Thirdly, as a responsible citizen of Earth you have a duty. This is, to preserve nature as far as you can.
Now I’m not saying that plantations of Eucalyptus and Pine trees are “nature” per se, but they are forests. Artificial forests; but still forests, that house forest ecosystems to an extent. Sure, the trees are being “farmed” so that they can be cut down and “harvested”, like corn, but what gets planted when they have been felled and the land’s been cleared? More trees.
Now imagine a completely paper-free world.
Apart from the trees that will still be farmed for furniture and beams and whatever else wood is used for, there will be many tree farms (speak, pine forests) that are going to become “redundant”.
Now think. Do you honestly believe Sappi and Mondi and similar will rehabilitate their farmland back to wild virgin forest?
Are you joking? We’re talking about farm land. Profitable square metrage. They pay dearly enough for it. They will turn to farming something else – and the pine forests will be gone, turned instead into monocultures of maize, or lucerne, or whatever else gets farmed. Bottom line: Not trees.
So guys: Request a paper slip from the ATM! Buy paper books! Use printed forms and do things on paper. Save the trees!