Increasingly I find myself reading books on my iPad through the Kindle app. Generally these are pleasure books or books that I don’t plan to use in a scholarly way (such as Michael Pollan’s Botony of Desire and The Omnivore’s Dilemma). But really that’s just it: I would like to use my iPad for scholarly purposes. Not only are electronic books cheaper, but I also believe they are more ecologically friendly. It requires energy to ship books. It requires energy to print books. It requires energy to cut down trees. It requires energy to make paper. It seems obvious to me that eBooks reduce our carbon footprint.
The problem is that in their current format eBooks are nearly useless for scholarly purposes. Because they don’t include paper pagination it’s impossible to cite them. Surely there is an easy way to solve this problem. If we can provide German pagination for Sein und Zeit in English translations, why can’t we make this standard practice for eBooks? I really wish publishers would get on this.