Every time a new technology comes along someone will cry 'the book is dead'!
And they are always WRONG!
The most recent and arguably one of the biggest threats to the printed book in the past few years is the ebook reader. As soon as the technology that made reading from the screen as comfortable as reading from paper was developed the 'ebook reader' appeared on the market.
I fully admit, despite being a qualified librarian by profession (a lesser known fact about me that usually raises a few eyebrows!) I do love my gadgets, so I was probably one of the first to invest in an ebook reader, an early version of Amazon's Kindle.
I do love it. I can browse Amazon's website and at the click of a mouse the book I want can be delivered straight to my Kindle within moments. However...
When MP3s (iTunes, etc.) came along I stopped buying CDs, probably for good. But having a Kindle hasn't stopped me from buying books, and I can tell you one of the main reasons why that is (and it is all to do with vanity!).
When I'm on the tube or train, I like people to know what book I'm reading. When I'm reading from a Kindle no-one knows what a fascinating and well-read woman I am, because all they see is the plain cover of my Kindle, not the cover of the book.
When I read a book, on the other hand, everyone can easily tell what sort of person I am - and I like it.
As if to prove the point, I was on the Piccadilly Line just yesterday, listening to music on my iPod while reading the back of a book I'd just purchased. Moments into the journey the man next to me leant over and started a conversation about the book (it was about neuroscience, if you're interested!).
He said, apologetically, that he'd been reading the back cover over my shoulder and was fascinated by the content! A most pleasant conversation ensued, at the end of which I said to him 'That would never have happened had I been reading on my Kindle!'.
It was a sad day when the main bookshop in central Watford closed down recently. Here's hoping the book will soon enjoy a further renaissance. Even in our age of rapidly evolving technologies, books continue to have a huge amount going for them.
Member since: 1st October 2012
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