This time, it's whether the impact on the planet of e-books or paper books is more significant, looked at from the perspective of an individual reader with an individual kindle. The hypothetical reader buys 20 books a year, never uses the library.
So right there, not a good match for the person asking the question, who self-describes as a "bookstore junkie". Come on. What junkie lets more weeks of the year go by _without_ a fix than a week with a fix? Please. We should be looking at the 100 book a year crowd, or the multiple newspaper/magazine subscription crowd. This person is a bookstore/book "chipper". And they don't have to _read_ a 100 books a year. They just have to acquire them. I mean, how the hell else do you get to be 30 and conclude that you're going to have to cull the library down to 3K and keep it that way or never, ever, ever move again? Not that I'm speaking from personal experience. Because I hit that particular insight well before 30.
The comparison is interesting. The actual report's press release is here:
But cleantech wants you to become a member to get at the report and I'm not feeling that ambitious right now. If I change my mind, be sure I'll post about it. The press release is far from clear. Here are the relevant sentences:
"The report indicates that, on average, the carbon emitted in the lifecycle of a Kindle is fully offset after the first year of use.
The report, authored by Emma Ritch, states: "Any additional years of use result in net carbon savings, equivalent to an average of 168 kg of CO2 per year (the emissions produced in the manufacture and distribution of 22.5 books)." "
MoJo suggests that our not-a-junkie-but-a-chipper should buy her 5 books she Must Have Right Away and then get the rest from the library (because we all know libraries don't buy multiple copies of heavily read bestsellers no they don't). Alternative ideas in the comments include used books, which would imply having (a) the patience to wait for the (b) used bookstore in your neighborhood to have that highly desirable hardback available in a few weeks. And the time to find that hardback in the used bookstore -- or surf for it online or whatever. Of course, then there are shipping impacts. . .
What are my complaints here?
(1) 20 books a year is a chipper. Not a junkie. I've complained about this before. I don't really believe someone has a real problem with books (and is therefore a plausible kindle candidate) until they're at or near three digits.
(2) Don't fucking call a library card retro. They have keychain library cards. Those are not retro. They have bar codes. Those are not retro. Libraries are hip and cool. Haven't you heard?
(3) Can kindle subscriptions gets a _little_ respect? Come on. The only people who mention kindlers with magazines on them are busy mocking them, and the people who are looking at eco-impact aren't doing what they should be doing, which is, hey, want this content to survive? Pay for it and get it on your kindle without the ads.
You can get Mother Jones on the kindle. Hell, you can get _Z_ on the kindle. (Maybe I should. Hmmm.) And yet is MoJo pointing any of this out? No.
(They started it. I saw the coverage in a MoJo e-letter. I get the paper edition of MoJo, but not after my subscription runs out. I'm switching it to the kindle. I fucking hate paper, even more than I hate not being able to make sense out of charts and tables on the kindle.)