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Want to be environmentally friendly? Donít wear fur, because did you know it takes 14 trees just for the protest signs alone? Well, thatís according to Emo Phillips anyway. That crazy guy.

An even better way to save trees is to stop picking up those free copies of the Toronto Star and get yourself an environmentally friendly e-book reader. Aside from saving the planet, youíll find that your fingers will not turn black and need washing just to find out what movies are playing tonight.

Youíll notice that your IQ will increase by having free access to the world class journalism of the Guardian and the New York Times. Youíll be able to turn pages on the Downsview 196 without bonking someone on the head; you wonít need to be skilled in the art of origami to fold the pages; and youíll be able to carry the newspaper in your pocket.

While waiting in line at Tim Hortonís, would you rather stare blankly at the floor while enjoying the fascinating conversation ahead of you about how unfair that psych TA is, and don't you think I should get auburn highlights. Or would you rather check the weather forecast and find out what country George is invading today - the choice is yours.

ďOk,Ē I hear you say. ďThatís all good Ė and I like having rainforests and stuff Ė but Iíll go blind reading that itty-bitty screen, and doesnít all this gadgetry cost a bundle?Ē

Well, let me start by revealing that along with the newspapers, Iíve read all five Harry Potters on my Palm Vx without any change in my glasses prescription.

Alright, Iíll wait until youíre done laughing. Yes, yes, go on and tell the person beside you what a mega geek this Excalibur guy is.
Youíre back? Ok, thereís more Ė I wrote this article on my palmtop too. Go on, finish telling your new buddy about this dork youíre reading about, Iíll wait. Ah yes, we all enjoy a good laugh, donít we.

But let me tell you this: I never have to look for an electrical outlet when typing papers or articles because my palmtopís battery life is measured in MONTHS, not hours. Which brings me to my next point. An e-book reader doesnít cost a lot of money because you should only buy a cheap used one. It turns out that all the current models cause major eyestrain and suck power like a Vanier frosh drinking beer at the Open End. Not a pretty sight for sore eyes, to mix a metaphor.
You see, itís like this. You need to buy a book reader that has a black and white screen. Why? Because itís like a calculator or digital watch. You can read it in the bright sunlight and you donít have to have a constant backlight that uses up the vast majority of your battery life. And if itís dark? Well, didnít your mother tell you that you shouldnít read in the dark? But if you must, you can, since most of these devices have a backlight option when you need it.

So what should you look for on ebay or the used computer store? You need a Palm Vx, Palm IIIx, Palm 500, HP200LX or any RCA e-book reader.

Anything else either has poor battery life (e.g. anything with the word ďWindowsĒ in it) or is too small/dim a screen (older PalmPilots). You can generally find them for less than $100. There is hope for new devices on the horizon though. Check out the photo of the new electronic paper!

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