There are two sides to every story. Since the rise of ebooks, many traditionalists have fought long and hard not to see physical books disappear. But are ebooks here to stay?
- The old ways beat technology
- Some prefer them for their aesthetic value. A physical book tends to be more attractive and shelves of books are wonderful in any room.
- Even though the high street and local book stores and libraries is quickly being replaced by Amazon factories.
- Shiny glittery covers, thick wads of paper that look impressive, great page-turning interaction and that sense of satisfaction when you’ve finished it.
- Tumblr-ing pictures of your avid novel collections of shiny Percy Jackson or Twilight to your fan tribes, along with fan art, fan fiction and fan movies.
- Owning something concrete and tangible, that you can collect, fill cupboards and bookcases with and show off to friends is more important than the actual substance.
- You can see them on your book shelf. And you also can give them away, lend them to friends, or maybe bring them to the charity shop!
- Local libraries have thousands of free books too, not just public domain classics.
- Value for money
- An emotional connection to physical books.
- Ebook users are readers, they enjoy the storytelling, the characters, the plot, not the format in which they are reading. In fact, in that respect, I’d say eBook readers are the true book lovers.
- Text size adjustable on-the-fly for people with visual impairments.
- Text to speech function for people with visual impairments.
- Content replaceable for free in the event that physical container medium is lost/damaged.
- Amazon sells physical books too. In fact they’re the UK’s biggest seller of physical books.
- eBooks offer the ability to hear about a book and almost instantly start reading it. (No travelling or waiting for post etc).
- They are significantly lighter if you want to carry more than one book with you.
- There is a vast library of public domain classics to be had for free.
Depends on location: many agree if they were to go holiday, it is simply easier and more convenient to take an ereader than a bunch of heavy books in your luggage. Whereas if they stay home, they love building a physical book collection and enjoy reading physical books. For 16-24 year old readers, they’re less likely to want to read half a dozen books on a holiday, or to be moving a collection of many hundreds of books from one house to another.
What can be said is that books in their printed form are more resilient than other non-digital alternatives. I am not arguing that everyone should toss their books on a bonfire and embrace the digital. Both formats have their advantages and disadvantages relative to each other. I don’t see why print and e-books can’t co-exist. Should we not be grateful and pleased to see that people are still reading, especially young teenagers who have so many other distractions.
Either way, the joy is in reading.