E-books now available from your local library
E-books, books in electronic format that you can read through a PC, an e-book reader or through handheld devices, are currently being introduced into Richmond upon Thames Libraries to extend their services to users.
The great benefits of this is that one doesnt have to physically come into the library to borrow a book, but rather can read them on any computer with an Internet connection. This in-turn means no overdues, no fines and a wider range of e-books available.
Some could argue this is another step in making a country accused of turning lazy even lazier but I think it's a great idea that can only encourage reading, a past-time that's becoming increasingly rare with the younger generation. Many teenagers in particular find going to the library 'uncool' whilst using a computer to discover literature, especially in relation to study, can only help them.
E-books arent designed to be read from cover to cover so you'll find most of the Richmond upon Thames Libraries e-books are non fiction titles for reference, covering Computing and IT, Management and Psychology plus over 3,000 classic works of Literature and History but this will prevent the danger of harming eyes by staring at a computer screen, reading line upon line of a regular novel.
With this in mind, contrary to my blog title, I really dont think there's a chance of e-books replacing standard books in the near or distant future. Having travelled to Tokyo last year, the electronic capital of the world, you'd come across people of all ages using state of the art phones and palm devices to read e-books but they were a dot in the ocean in comparison to the hundreds upon thousands of people that congregated every day upon comic stores to buy and read their standard books.
I do feel that gradually the range of reading material available in e-book form will become greater but reading is used as a relaxation device for many people, a time out from the busy world we live in, and I just dont think reading from an electronic device will ever have that same affect, even putting aside the strain it would have on one's eyes.
There's simply no substitute for a good (hardback or paperbook) book!
Ask at your local library for details about using e-books or visit www.richmond.gov.uk/libraries/e-books.
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