Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Hand and the (E)Book)

Apple recently announced that the Ipad 2 would be coming out very soon while Kindle comes up with its new version about once a year. I am not sure on the speculated date about the new Ipad but I am certain that I did not bother to look up the news and comments about it. I was still befuddled by the use of tablets when I had a laptop that had a bigger screen to work with. Heck, I was just comfortable not to have a tablet because I might sit on the thing or drop it. I do have friends who have these tablets though and I get fascinated with the ease that they have in using it for reading cases, encoding pleadings, watching movies and whatever application Apple has out there. A friend showed me the E-book he was reading and how it was set up to look like an actual book with the page turning with the swipe of a finger. I thought it was cool but then I had this creeping feeling at the back of my mind that something just wasn't right.

Books have been my companions for a long time both for leisure and for work. It gives me great comfort to touch the page and have the words within my reach without the push of a power button. The book itself shows character and emotions like anger, sadness and even boredom. I couldn't think of a way on how an E-book would tell me their reader's story.

The writer's labor suddenly seems so measured and small when it comes to an E-book. The NY Times posted an article about the price of an E-book to that of a hardcover and comments on Amazon showed that people would not buy the E-book version if it was over $9.99. The same book's hardcover version goes for $26 and a lot of people were not that hesitant to buy it. The price of intellect and the format seem to be at odds with each other and society has yet to reconcile the right amount to pay for a mind's creation. The law of supply and demand could be applied to construct some possible explanation or maybe it all boils down to the reader's love of the written word.

I occasionally download some E-books that I think would not be worth parting with my allowance. I similarly find that I am glad that there are versions of those books on the internet so that I could have a world to escape to with a simple "DOWNLOAD" button. The E-book presents so many pros and cons and its existence is a strong source of debate on intellectual property. I would like to say I feel so strongly against the unlicensed E-book about the books that I love and yet, I am willing to read E-books (licensed or unlicensed) for those which I am indifferent to. I guess this is a confounding question where the best retort would be "You can't have your cake and eat it too." Or is it?

Entry 1 by Abigail T. Alameda (Props to those who get the pic. Pic NOT MINE. Credit to the witty GoT fan who made it.)

No comments: