Why would anyone who enjoys the remarkable experience of reading real books, with their enticing covers and pages that smell of academia, go for a cold, intangible eBook?
Being rather traditional in my appreciation of literature, I was actually surprised and delighted to discover the eBook offers some most appealing features that surpass time-honoured print. Perhaps we will never quite abandon the marvel of ink and paper, but the advent of the eBook may prove to be a real gem.
If you are a dedicated book worm, carrying around your favourite reads can be cumbersome. The eBook concept allows one to take more than one book along on holiday or on business trips. E-readers are small and light and eBooks can also be stored in mobile data connection devices to save space on your reader. You don’t have to go trawling around the mall for a new read and eBooks will never go out of print.
Now for the really nifty bits… eBook websites allow one to translate eBooks, meaning all books are potentially available in all languages. You can also change fonts to suit your mood and text-to-speech software is available for dyslectic people and those with visual impairments, or for if you want to cook dinner and listen to a story. Very handy. Electronic texts are also cheaper than hard copy and there’s a lot available for free online. For example, all books written before 1900 are in the public domain. Hey?
It also could be said to be more environmentally friendly as research shows that traditional book production uses three times more resources and 78 times more water than their e-counterparts.
Of course there are drawbacks to everything in life. One being that eBook technology is constantly changing at this juncture in time where hardcopies require no new and costly software to be read. The physical, aesthetic appeal of books and home libraries is of course lost with this technology, and a Kindle or other e-reader is a rather more expensive present than a real book.
The shelf life of printed book exceeds that of an e-reader, and as with most digital devices data loss can occur and the battery cab run out or become too old. E-readers are sensitive and must be protected; they can’t just knock about in a backpack half way around the world.
But who is to say you can’t enjoy the best of both worlds?
Interesting eBook facts anyone? -
- The eBook was first conceptualised in the form of a filing index as early as the 1940’s by Roberto Buso.
- The increasingly popular and original e-reader, the Amazon Kindle, was launched in 2007 followed by many other e-readers.
- This year Apple released software to allow creating of iPad eBooks; and an eBook library named Scoobe has also recently been launched. Just think, a virtual library, very sci-fi.
- As with all great inventions, there has also been a lot of controversy concerning the eBook age. Maybe I’ll tell you about that next time…