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What ePaper is Not

Posted by Carolyn Tusinski on 2023-11-29

We spend a lot of time describing the attributes of products and services – how the numbers have changed. Faster, brighter, more adjustable, lighter weight, efficient and more. We may hint at a use case or how the specific features create benefits. We hardly ever address what features are not included. Maybe marketeers think that creates a negative tone. I don’t agree.

I thought of the title and within hours, without solicitation, a colleague sent a link from Reader’s Digest titled E-readers: Addressing the myths and concerns. Brilliant!

I won’t paraphrase the post, but I will pose some thoughts about how these ‘negatives’ are useful in understanding ePaper.

Eye Health

Much has been said about eye health and blue light. ePaper emits no blue light and has been certified to be as readable as physical paper.

reading in bed2Blue light hazards. Image: E Ink


It’s thought that ePaper is damaging to the environment. Books require logging and paper production – with all the associated negative side effects. eReaders are inherently sustainable – in my office, we have functioning eReaders over 20 years in service.

Destroying literary traditions

I love books. I love flipping the pages. What I don’t love is lugging the volumes around the house and when I’m traveling. Thousands of books can be stored on nearly every eReader currently on the market. Additionally, the cost of publishing an eBook and the time to its release is lightning fast.

Student leaning against bookshelf holding a tablet pc at the library
Volumes and volumes. Image: Shutterstock


Sleep disruption

It’s clear that blue light is harmful to eyes, especially young eyes. Skip the blue light emitting LCD and LED screens in favor of gentle ePaper.

Incomparable to ‘real’ books

There’s no point to comparing ePaper to physical paper. They are very similar in the physical affects. Scroll up to the Literary Traditions section. Many people I know are juggling - literally – several books simultaneously. Then there’s the integrated dictionaries and accessibility features for the visually impaired.

Creating a disposable mindset

There’s a lot of discussion about the ‘throw away’ mindset. Use it up, toss it. eReaders are the anti disposable book. They are designed to last many years and can hold so many eBooks that we can free up shelf space for our pie eating trophies. Or whatever keepsake you choose.

Children won’t be drawn to reading

Nobody loves a gadget more than a child. In this age of a computer, phone and tv in our pocket, the small fry want in too. eReaders are durable and simple enough for a youngster to use.

kids and screens
Kids love gadgets. Image: E Ink


Technical issues are common

Every new device has some glitches to work out. eReaders are the exception. Charge it (it’ll be weeks before you need to charge again), download your eBoooks and off you go!

Must be a tech guru

eReaders are purposely designed to be easy to use for many ages. Customization of language, font size, and brightness guarantees a perfect fit. Just like slippers!


This is just a non issue. eBooks are available for purchase much less than a physical book would fetch. Many libraries loan eBooks. So, just no!

Tech guru or engaged reader? Image: E Ink.


This post was inspired by a post from Reader’s Digest.com. Once you experience eReaders, it’s hard to lug heavy, musty paper books again.

When did you get your eReader? How many books do you have?

Topics: Digital Paper, Sustainability, Electronic Ink Technology, Consumer Devices, eReaders, IoT, internet of things, ePaper, Blue Light

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