Technology becomes more and more pervasive in people’s life. First it was the mobile phone, then it was the personal computer, now… Well, we’ve actually lost track; from e-readers, to tablets, smartphones and I-phones.
E-readers, were introduced in the market roughly 5 years ago and as it seems, they are taking over the publishing platform. Recently, Amazon.com proudly said:
“Amazon.com is now selling more Kindle books than paperback books. Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the Company has sold 115 Kindle books. Additionally, during this same time period the Company has sold three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books”
At the mere sight of this statement a traditional, die-hard bibliophile will probably, desperately mourn over the death of the beloved paper book.
So, do paper books had their day? No matter how technology-up-to-date we are, no matter how dependent and occasionally obsessed we get with gadgets, ebooks can never adequately replace real books. Of course e-reader lovers can list the many and often unconquerable advantages of ebooks over real books, like convenience, economy, flexibility etc.
To that book lovers would answer: the intimacy growing out of book-reading can never emerge out of digitally reading on a screen. After all, how one is supposed to match the beauty and warmth a home library brings? How can a person ever experience the feelings of closeness and joy from flicking through freshly printed pages?
Honestly, can you see an ebook the same way as you would your hard-earned book collection?
Avid (traditional) book lovers its not; you can have thousands of books digitally stored, but none to browse through.
How many times will you have to read your favorite book on your ereader, for it to get that worn, used look? Who can one justify how people after liking a book read digitally, go out and buy the real thing too? And read it again, this time as they should. It’s all about the experience.
Ultimately there is no need to be absolute, for half a decade now, ebooks and paper books have co-existed in peace. The one cannot replace the other, simply because they are two entirely different things.