Ebook Readers and the Life of Legal Academia
I sometimes think that my life is dominated by paper, binder clips, and redwells. Being an academic necessarily means that I read a lot of article, and having a blind hatred of reading articles on a computer screen, this means that I print them out. The result is that I am constantly surrounded by stacks of paper, and on a recent trip to Chicago I was reminded of how inconvenient paper can be as I schlepped a heavy bag stuffed with article-containing redwells through the airport. My wife has also repeatedly complained about the binder clips that often litter the house.
I am not particularly enamored by the idea of ebooks. I like the feel of paper and binding. Indeed, I have fairly strong opinions about such things and will pay extra money to get an edition of a book in the physical format that I enjoy. I am still convinced that my early attraction to the law came from my fascination with the row upon row of calf-skin-bound reporters. Nevertheless, I am considering buying an ebook reader on which I can download PDF versions of papers from SSRN, Hein-Online, JSTOR, and the like to read. I am hoping that some of the more gadget-inclined of Co-Op’s readers can give some advice. My understanding is that the Kindle locks you into Amazon’s proprietary world. However, I think that the Sony readers allow you to read PDFs and other formats. Has anyone tried to run their SSRN addiction through a Sony reader? What is the reading experience like for PDF files? Are casebooks available in ebook format? (Class prep on a plane without lugging a doorstop-sized case book is appealing.)
Given that I will spend much of next semester on an airplane between Ithaca and Williamsburg, I’d like to eliminate paper as much as possible from my consumption of scholarship. Is this possible?