For example, after I got my new color Kindle, I bought a few background books for my next novel because they were cheaper as e-books. Yet I immediately forgot the names and authors of those books. It wouldn't surprise me if I one day buy some of them again in paper (if I haven't already), not knowing I already own them.
Other books I would have been willing to buy as e-books I didn't because for some reason the illustrations weren't included in the e-book, only the paper book.
You might object that those are technical issues; that once Kindles allow one to tag books and then sort books by multiple tags, that once Kindles have bigger memories so they can easily hold many image-heavy e-books, these problems will disappear. True, and if those advances happen, I will reconsider my decision. In the meantime, I buy only pleasure reading in e-book form.
Some of the downsides of new digital ways of doing things are intrinsic. For example, software improvements so far have been inevitable. Twenty years from now, I won't be able to access the books currently on my Kindle or any files that are now on my computer because the software and possibly the hardware will have advanced too far.
Another example: office recordkeeping. I've found Quicken worse than useless for recording my business expenses. I don't like using Microsoft Excel, either. It's much faster and more convenient to keep records of expenses by hand. With an old-fashioned paper ledger, I can work on my account book anywhere, not just at my computer. For another, I can see all my expenses and their categories for the year with only three or four glances (or with a single glance if I tear out the pages and spread them out). I make fewer mistakes when I write numbers in by hand, and it's easier to notice and correct mistakes in a paper ledger.
These aren't the only areas in which I've decided to be a Luddite. Recently I decided to return to using a paper address book as my master list of addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses. I loved having a Palm Pilot, with all data collected in one place and accessible in 30 seconds from anywhere I was. But my newer-model computer doesn't support such old technology. Contact data are now scattered through several different programs, and they're not accessible when I'm away from home. So it's back to a portable address book for me until smartphones and smartphone data plans drop drastically in price.
And it hardly needs mentioning that even if one makes many backups of computer files and stores them in more than one physical location, one can nevertheless irretrievably lose important information.
As a result, I'm still in love with paper. Where do you fall? Does your office and business depend entirely on computers and digital devices, does it still run entirely on paper, or is it somewhere in-between? And why?
I'll be blogging again on May 6. I hope you stop by again then.