What will eBooks change?

Previously I spoke of how we rarely ever leave our homes, as everything can be streamed directly to our computers, an act I too am guilty of.

Another favourite past time of mine however, is reading. It has been since I was a child, as I understand it has been/is for many others.

But unlike a select few, a lot of readers seem to dislike eReaders and eBooks.

In no way am I saying eReaders and eBooks don’t have merit. They do, as pointed out by those referenced above. They are convenient, lightweight and in the long-term cheap. Yet most seem to dislike them.

But the question asked here is, what will eBooks change in our society?

EBooks are no new technology by any means but their changing of the way we receive literature has been slow and steady.

An image of a common book, pre-printing press

An image of a common book, pre-printing press

One change that happened to our literature was that a lot of novels had images until the printing press was invented. So questions such as ‘Will images be added to books again, now that they’re all done electronically? Or will they just stay the same’ – avid local reader and writer Alex Rigby-Wild. ‘I think I would kind of like pictures in books again.’

Callie Price is a fan of eBooks as well. As a reader she says ‘It’s so easy. Say you’re reading a series, then finish one book, if you’re reading on paper you have to leave and go to a book store. But reading eBooks you can just buy the next instalment. It’s also great if you’re buying a really embarrassing book.’ This is a fact that many have been quick to discount.

On the other hand, a local fiction editor, Jonathan Mills said ‘I miss the smell of real books. EBooks are convenient and light, but it’s not the same as holding a real book in your hand. There’s a lot of history in real books. Old editions are passed on through generations. I own a book that was once owned by my great grandfather. There’s a story to books and I think we may lose that as we go towards the electronic edition.’

There are clearly positives and negatives to both sides. Neither can be considered correct at the present moment. Only time will tell.

Richard Russo (author of Empire Falls) says:

‘We’re beginning to see electronic books reach their natural level …  people who are just so caught up in the technology  … are now returning to physical books with a sense of a long lost friend … So I think there’s going to be a place in the reading world for both.’

USA today

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