I have loved reading ever since I can remember. As a kid I sometimes even preferred it to playing with friends. My fondness for books hasn’t diminished as I’ve grown up, although the way I read books has changed.
I now read most books on my Kindle. Why? Because it’s light and because I can have all my books with me at anytime. And because it remembers the last page of all the four books I am reading at a time. But most importantly because it saves paper, and that means it saves trees.
A lot of people tell me they can’t imagine reading books on a device like a Kindle since they would miss the touch and the feel of the paper. Well, do we still send people letters and snail mail? We use email because it’s faster, more convenient and more efficient.
Physical books are actually quite inefficient – how many times do you really re-read most books you buy anyway? Books require paper (and thus trees), chemicals for the ink, electricity for printing and then are transported over long distances. You then sit in a car (or public transport) and go to the bookstore to buy them. Whereas an e-book requires only a fraction of that energy to retrieve it from the servers of the website you buy it from.
At the end of the day, the important question we need to ask ourselves is where we would rather have our trees – gathering dust in our homes on bookshelves or out in the open where they can actually have a positive impact spreading shade, capturing CO2 and maintaining healthy ecosystems?