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E-Books: Jonathon Franzen is Against e-books.

It should no longer be a competition between e-books versus print books.


Jonathon Franzen doesn’t seem to like anything other than his own writing; the esteemed author was most famously noted for getting pissy that his novel “The Corrections” was included in the Oprah book club. Now that the author has another book in the spotlight, Jonathon Franzen is again trying to make controversy, this time by  trying to stir up controversy about whether e-books are worthwhile or not.

His opinion? Jonathon Franzen says that e-books are not valuable.

My opinion? I tend to agree with NPR’s Jonathon Segura on this one; Jonathon Franzen’s opinion on e-books is not needed as the decision has already been made. E-books are coming whether or not “purists” such as Jonathon Franzen are in favor of them or not.

The NPR writer’s contention is that e-books versus traditional books are not an either/or situation. You can choose to read some books on an e-book format and can choose to read some books in print. He cites the example of “Money” by Martin Amis as an example of one book that is not yet (and may never be) available in a digital format.

The pros and cons of e-books have been debated endlessly. And it is sad to see that brick and mortar bookstores are closing; there are some towns that don’t even have a single bookstore at all because they have all closed.

But I’m guessing that’s not why Jonathon Franzen is complaining. The more he complains, the more media spotlight he gets, and the more books he sells. Jonathon Franzen may be arrogant, but he’s not stupid by any means. Whatever he can say to get himself into the spotlight, he does. And it works.

And, for the record, because I know that you are dying to know, I’ll give you my own opinion on e-books versus print books; I’m a sucker for books in print, but do like to read  Kindle books on my iPad.

But as Jonathon Segura points out in the NPR article, at this point, e-books lag behind in some regards; for example, it’s hard to take notes in an e-book. Book marks are in and dog-eared pages are out. There are ways to get digital signatures on e-books, but the population at large doesn’t use those methods yet.