Friday, July 1, 2011

Will Ebooks Take Over? - The Battle for the Better Book

Technology has certainly been making a statement. "Bring in the new" has become the motto, suggesting that advancement is key, and new and modern is the "right way" to go. The 50's boasted television, the 60's put man on the moon. The 70's began to make the computer "personal" and the 80's told us it was about time to overcome the hassle of untangling that phone cord. The 90's changed the life we knew with the World Wide Web, and the turn of the century gave us many lifesaving medical advancements. And where do you think much of this information is documented? In books, of course. So with all these technological advancements with internet and word processing in recent years, will books become obsolete as well? Our society has managed to say good-bye to our Ataris, our vinyl records, and our belief that cold weather alone will make you sick. But would society be able to say farewell to solid, in your hand, paper page books to make way for a primarily digital means of reading? Are books destined to become just like everything else we leave behind without a second glance? Hardly!

Up until recently, books have withstood the technological advances of the centuries. The tried and true concept of a protective cover containing pages bound inside has worked wonderfully for us for over 1900 years now. Why alter something that works beautifully for us?

Unlike many other potential technological advancements, whose transitions promise much value and benefits to be obtained, the advancements of digital readers and electronic books may also result in many benefits being lost. What about the satisfaction of the crisp fresh pages of a new book that some of us thoroughly enjoy? Or the memories and mystery brought upon by the worn and withered pages of a timeless classic that has been passed through the family for generations?

There is also the incredible thirst for knowledge or story upon entering the front doors of your favorite bookstore. And one cannot forget the pride they take in the collection on their bookshelves; the many worlds that exist within the seconds it takes for the eyes to sweep across the sturdy and secure bindings. As well as the display for others who enter the home, being able to let them in one who you are, and sharing with them your favorite stories.

The magnificence of having a book in your hands should not be taken away. It is a comfort that has brought joy to humankind for many years, and will hopefully be able to continue to do so for many generations to come. Even with new technology, solid books in print will likely always remain an option especially for those who care about the tradition and have an overall love for the art of storytelling.

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