It's time for part two of the Great Debate:
books vs. ebooks
Monday's post was on why I love books. Today I'm going to talk about what I love about ebooks, and whether or not I believe that real books will ever go away.
The first ebook I ever finished reading was The Hunger Games (you can read my review here). I'd downloaded a few of the classics before, but I'd read them already, so I only got a few chapters into them
The Hunger Games isn't just one of those books you put down though, regardless of whether it's a book or an ebook.
So, what can you do with an ebook?
- read it in the dark
- turn pages with one hand
- hold it in one hand
- change the font, the size, and the background
- begin reading a book seconds after first hearing about it
- self-publish cheaply
- search the book for your favorite character
The screen shot on the right is from my current read, The Mysteries of Udolpho.
Ebooks are easy to transport. Instead of packing a trunk or purse full of books, you can carry literally an entire library around in your pocket. I mean, that's really, really amazing.
E-readers make owning, collecting, and transporting books faster and easier than it's ever been before.
But do I believe that ebooks will eventually replace real books?
To answer that question, I want to draw some parallels from history.
When was the last time a major advancement was made in the way books were published and distributed?
That would be the invention of the printing press in 1440.
Before we had printed books, we had things called manuscripts, which were handwritten, largely by monks.
Only the very rich could own books because of the time it took to produce them.
Johannes Gutenberg invented a faster, easier way to print.
Now everyone could own and read books.
The Protestant Reformation was helped in a large part by the wide-spread distribution of the works of Luther and other Reformers, as well as copies of the Bible.
Sure, the books weren't as pretty as manuscripts, which took years and years to complete because of the painstaking illustrations and the beautiful handwriting of the monks. But now they could be read faster and for less.
Fast forward to today. Are ebooks going to oust real books the way real books ousted manuscripts?
I believe the answer is no.
The reason that real books took over from manuscripts was because everyone could read them.
And, today, not everyone can afford an e-reader.
One of the main things that an e-reader requires is internet access, at least to initially buy books. Not everyone has internet access.
An e-reader requires access to electricity. Not everyone has that.
You see, anyone can pick up a book and read it. But, like I said in the last post, not everyone can realistically maintain ownership of an e-reader.
So until that day when everyone owns an e-reader...
I believe real books are here to stay.
What's your favorite thing about ebooks? Do you believe books and ebooks can coexist?
Let me know by commenting!