Are Paper Books Obsolete?
Will Paper Books Become Obsolete Relics as Ebooks Grow in Popularity?
Is it true that the Kindle and other ebook readers will make books unnecessary? Many people seem to believe this. I'm told that ebooks are the solution to the high cost of school textbooks. I hear from enthusiastic Kindle owners that they are very content to get rid of the bookcases and keep their libraries in a small and handy Kindle. I'm told that when you "turn the pages" in an ebook reader it's almost like the real thing. I'm told how many trees will be saved if we use ebooks instead of paper ones. I've even looked at someone's Kindle. But I'm not ready to jump into ebooks yet. The idea of keeping my library in a small ebook reader delights me, but I really wonder if my library would be permanently preserved in such a format. So far I'm not convinced that switching is a great idea. What do you think?
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I prefer paper books.
When my children were young, there was nothing quite like sitting between them on the sofa with an open picture book in my lap as they snuggled up and we read it together. I don't think the Kindle would provide that same experience. Because picture books often have one picture on a double-page spread, it would be hard to see the art as it was intended in an eBook reader. Artists would have to change the way they illustrate books, and we'd be the poorer for it.
Would I want to keep my library in an electronic format? I don't think so. A Kindle might be OK for reading mysteries or other books I may only want to read once. But what about books I might want to keep forever? Since I started using a computer, we have gone from large floppy disks to not so large, not so floppy disks, and then to CDs, and now DVDs and all the various portable storage drives. Should I assume that eBook technology will not change and make my present eBook reader obsolete? If the technology changes, what happens to my library? How long will it be before I can't find any thing to play my old cassettes on or to use to change them to CDs or MP3? I see what advances in technology are doing to my music library. How do I know that wouldn't happen to an electronic book library?
As I think of children again, I am reminded that they have a lot of activities in their lives that compete with reading. Why might they choose to read? How about attractive and inviting books on their bookshelves or on the coffee table just begging to be picked up? Often the cover of a book tempts us to pick up a book and examine it. We start turning pages, and before you know it, we start reading. Why do libraries and bookstores keep as many books as possible facing out? Because book covers create interest in a book. Would it be the same to just look at lists of books to download? Even if we read a review and see a cover on a computer screen, it's not the same as picking up a real book and skimming it. And one has to be at some sort of computer screen to acquire such a book to even browse. Even though kids love their computers and spend a lot of time at their monitors, handling a book satisfies more of the senses than just the eyes.
How do eBook readers work in the bathtub or hot tub? What happens if you drop one in the water?
These are just some of my concerns. I'm told that the younger generation does not have such concerns. But it's hard for me to envision another format as practical as a book which needs no batteries or recharging, will not be destroyed if dropped hard on a concrete floor or in the bathtub, and you can take a book to the table without worrying about a spilled glass of milk or ice tea causing permanent destruction. I don't need to worry about the books on my shelves becoming suddenly unreadable, or, worse yet, just disappearing, as I'm told a certain book did on the Kindle once.
Would my daughter have done this with a Kindle?
Do you currently own a Kindle or other ebook reader?
Are you using an ebook reader for everything you want to read now? Or do you use it primarily for books you only want to read once. If you don't have a Kindle yet and want one,
How do you use your ebook reader?
Have I Failed to Convince You to Stick to Paper Books? - Then How About a Kindle Fire
It's compact and powerful. No, I don't have one. I haven't converted yet. But were I to go electronic, I'd want to have more than just an ebook reader. I'd want something with the power of a tablet. That would be the Kindle Fire.
Will Paper Books Disappear?
- Microcosm Exchanging Real Books for Unwanted Kindles
Do you prefer real books to Kindles? This Portland publisher will let you exchange your Kindle for its worth in new or used books and magazines. No Kidding!
- Will Physical Books Be Gone In Five Years?
In an interview with CNN's Howard Kurtz on "Reliable Sources," author Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop per Child, said the physical book's days are numbered.
Do you want to replace your library with an ebook reader?
I'll keep my library in paper. I can't imagine replacing my favorite books with ebooks. I want to be table to read fearlessly at the table if I find myself eating alone. If I had grandchildren, I'd want to read to them from large, colorful, picture books, cuddled together on the sofa. I want to browse my cookbooks for inspiration in the kitchen. I'll take a paper book anytime.
Do you want to replace your paper books with an ebook reader, or do you still want to keep some of your books in paper?
What happens when people forget how to read?
Of course, we're not talking about forgetting how to read by replacing paper books with ebooks. But when our libraries become all electronic, just what will happen to all the books now sitting on our shelves? Perhaps this book will give you some ideas.
In Triple Creek, TVs were so popular that almost everyone in the town had forgotten how to read. People loved their TVs more than anything and watched them all the time. That is, everyone but Eli's Aunt Charlotte. He called her Aunt Chip, and she was the only person in town who did not have a television and had never owned one. She had been the town librarian until no one used the library anymore, and after a while even forgot what it was for. Finally the city fathers had it torn down and replaced with a giant TV tower. And Aunt Chip took to her bed and vowed to stay there.
Eli loved his Aunt Chip and visited her often. She told wonderful stories, and when he asked where she got them, she said from books. That puzzled Eli. It was then that Aunt Chip discovered that not only Eli, but the whole town, could not read. They used books as building materials for fences, walls, doorstops, plates, and even to shore up the dam. For almost anything but reading. Aunt Chip shows Eli the inside of a book and explains about writing:
'Now look at this. Those are words. They tell about ideas, dreams, and feelings. They take you to places far from here. They show you how to be fair and just, and sometimes show your what happens when you're not. Books are a treasure. All you need is the key.'
'The key?' Eli asked.
'The key! Knowin' these words and their meanings,' she answered softly. 'It's called readin.'
Eli begs Aunt Chip to teach him to read, and she does. Soon his classmates discovered that he could "hear" things that they couldn't. He explained that he wasn't "hearing," but reading. They wanted him to read more. And he took them to Aunt Chip, who taught them to read, too. Soon there weren't enough books to go around, so the children started retrieving them from the places they had been stashed. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon your point of view) one book was pulled from the wall of books holding up the dam. I'll leave the rest to your imagination, but by the end the children have taught their parents how to read again and Aunt Chip lived to preside over the new town library.
Navigating an eBook - It's difficult in comparison to paper.
Since I got my Kindle Paperwhite 2 eBook reader in December, 2013, I've downloaded and read a lot of books on it. I love it for reading in bed and when I'm having to wait while running errands or waiting for meetings to start. But I'm not as happy when I'm trying to write book reviews and I want to find passages I've highlighted or double-check the name of a character. In a paper book you can physically thumb through it until you find what you need.
On my Kindle, I have to take notes on paper as to what the locations numbers I've bookmarked are about. I have to bookmark every page I think I might want to come back to. Using the X-Ray feature only shows one page of results and I can't seem to scroll down to see the rest of what's there. Maybe this is a defect or a malfunction, but it's sure frustrating. For some books, the X-Ray function is grayed out and can't be used to navigate at all. If I want to write about what's in the book, I definitely prefer paper. Navigation is much quicker and more precise.
I took this photo of the X-Ray screen on my Kindle. The black line on the left is supposed to scroll down, but it doesn't work on mine, so I can only see the little that is there.
Would they have trusted me with an ebook at this age?
Let me know what you think about paper books versus ebooks. Which do you prefer and why? Do you envision paper books becoming obsolete in the future?