That’s the title of a review in The Next Web.  The review is a comprehensive look at the pros and cons of paper:

We were given some review samples of a new technology called ‘paper’ earlier this week. Paper is a natural material that can be produced in bulk, relatively cheap, and some people think it will replace e-readers such as the iPad and Kindle.

This week we read some articles and even a book using this innovative new material to find out if paper is really a viable technology and a possible replacement for electronic book readers, or e-readers.  …

Here’s a snippet.  I suggest you read the whole review to get a feel for whether paper is a viable reading medium:

Paper doesn’t seem to need batteries as there is no backlight included. This also means you will need to supply your own lighting. No books or magazines we tested came with lighting included, and the official response we got was that there are no plans currently to change that. Although this can be an advantage (paper is lighter because no batteries or lamps are included) we do think manufacturers should warn about the need for external light fixtures in low light situations. In a way, it reminds us of the early days of computing where power adapters were sold separately, for good money, and weighed a ton.


  1. Upon due consideration, I have to conclude that paper is a horrible substitute for ebook readers.

    Most importantly is the fact that you would expend the mass of an entire tree, plus all the heavily-polluting bleaches and chemicals, in order to produce a small handful of books, each holding only one document… whereas a comparable number of ebook readers could hold hundreds to thousand of documents within them. There’s economy of scale acting there, something no printed book can match. And that felled tree can be replaced with a sapling, but it will take decades-to-hundreds of years to realize an equal amount of mass of the original, with its requisite contributions to air quality, erosion control and animal habitation.

    Additionally, that printed book is highly susceptible to irrecoverable damage from fire, water, mold… and if destroyed, there is no backup. An ebook reader can be backed up, so a loss of the device does not mean a loss of the content.

    Really, I do not see a comparison between the two objects at all. Printed books, to be clear, drool.

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