Power Outages and Print Books

I’ve experienced a number of power outages the last couple years (interestingly, more so in the last two years than the rest of my life so far), and it got me thinking about e-books. 

Power outages that occur during storms or hurricanes or other natural disasters, sometimes last days or weeks. During that time, how do you keep yourself entertained? Or from going crazy? Aside from drinking, I think a number of people catch up on their reading. I have a few friends who finished at least a couple books during and immediately after Hurricane Sandy.

But what do you do if you’re reading an e-book and you run out of battery? I know that the Kindle (not Kindle Fire) is supposed to last for weeks or even a month if you’re not using the Internet, which makes a strong case for e-readers, but tablets must be easier to read in a power outage, since they’re backlit.

On the other hand, I know that reading is trending towards digital, and I am a huge fan of e-books and digital publishing, obviously, but there are many reasons to keep print books around (nostalgia, actual ownership, etc.). Maybe usefulness during power outages will be another reason for print books to stick around indefinitely (to have, just in case). You can always read by candlelight, after all.



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