My Sony Pocket Reader nearly gave me a heart attack yesterday. I uploaded a couple of novels into my new, trusty Reader (alas, my old classic PRS505 broke when it fell to the hard, marble floor. sob) and then ... it went wonky.
The screen kept saying "Reading book...", and then it switched to the menu page, only to return to the "reading book" page. Over and over again. It refused to restart when I pressed a pin into the tiny reset hole, and it wouldn't switch off at all.
Fortunately, I found my answer in the MobileReads forum. Phew. My Reader is back to normal again. Looks like, despite it's 500MB space and ability to hold almost 500 books, the Reader just ends up slowing down and freezing up after I upload more than 80 books into the Reader. So much for technology!
The whole heart-stopping moment got me thinking about how reliable "dead tree" books are. It'll never malfunction, the data it holds will not suddenly crash one day without warning, and it's always, well, there. Books even survive a good soak in the rain (even if the pages are all crumpled up) and the data in the book will probably be there after a hundred years or more (if stored properly). I do hope they make the same eBook Reader batteries 100 years from now...
That's why I shudder at the thought of owning a purely eBook library. I mean, I do love eBooks and all, but I doubt it has the same kind of reliability as dead tree books. That's why my favourite books (which I reread again and again) are dead tree copies and those which I read and forget are in my Reader.