Written in response to a comment on snarkypenguin blog. An overreaction on my part, I'm sure, but I really do love my local library.
....don't go knocking the local public library. Two points: what's worse: cutting some [renewable] trees to make paper to print books; or the manufacture of an e-reader, using [non-renewable] plastics, rare earth minerals and electric power that might be generated by a coal powered plant?
And never lose sight of the truth of the library: books that anyone can read, free. Can you just imagine, if libraries didn't already exist, trying to get them established now? The cries of outrage from publishers and authors: 'you want to buy one copy of the book and then lend it to thousands? What, are you crazy?'
e-books may give you thousands of books in one small case. But can you give them to someone else when you're done? And then get it back when they're done, or pass it on to another friend? Only in rare cases can you lend them once. So, do you really own the book, or are you just leasing it from the seller?
And you can't press a flower between the pages of a kindle book, or use that very special bookmark. And you can't write in the margins!
[you can add notes, I know, but it's not as easy as that penciled note. And not as personal.]