More and more students are armed with either an e-book reader or a tablet. A lightweight learning device that enables a person to download and read e-books, magazines, newspapers and other digital media whenever and wherever is slowly changing the ways we read.
For better access, recent news shows that Amazon Kindle is now contemplating a Netflix like subscription for books. In this type of service, the customer would pay an annual fee to access a library of content. This development is of course dependent on an arrangement with book publishers. If this pushes through, it would be interesting to watch its effect on the value of the book business. This decision is important given the dominance of Kindle in the e-reader market and its influence on reading in general. Amazon’s announcement said that its e-book sales late last year surpassed sales of actual books in the US.
So where else is the path of reading in this digital age going? A website called bookglutton.com allows readers to form groups and discuss titles available on the site. This comes as no surprise because blogs and videos allow comments. Also, books have a tradition of commentary, annotation and scholarly criticism that can now be made easier by having an organized and elegant online commenting system.
Some changes such as the socialization of readers should be embraced. There may be some bad things that go with better access but at the end of it all reading remains an activity that is within a person’s regulation.
James Anthony Mina #13