This may sound like a Waste or Want but it's not, only because I have yet to try the Kindle. The New Yorker's Nicholas Baker just did, and boy does his review of the e-reading machine feel like a takedown. Among some of his complaints: The typeface ("it had a way of reducing everything to arbitrary heaps of words"); the background color ("it wasn’t just gray; it was a greenish, sickly gray. A postmortem gray."); what it doesn't include ("Photographs, charts, diagrams, foreign characters, and tables don’t fare so well on the little gray screen.").
My takeaway? Get a Kindle if you want one, but don't think it's because you're being green. As for me, I'm sticking to books for now. When I'm done, I'll do what I always do: Keep them for re-reading later—that is, if I'm absolutely floored by them—or pass them on. There's nothing wrong with good, old-fashioned recycling.
"On the other hand, there’s no clutter, no pile of paperbacks next to the couch. A Kindle book arrives wirelessly: it’s untouchable; it exists on a higher, purer plane. It’s earth-friendly, too, supposedly. Yes, it’s made of exotic materials that are shipped all over the world’s oceans; yes, it requires electricity to operate and air-conditioned server farms to feed it; yes, it’s fragile and it duplicates what other machines do; yes, it’s difficult to recycle; yes, it will probably take a last boat ride to a Nigerian landfill in five years. But no tree farms are harvested to make a Kindle book; no ten-ton presses turn, no ink is spilled."