Thursday, September 1, 2011

When Reading Goes Digital

The massive phenomenon of tablets and e-readers has brought about what I'd like to call the "e-book revolution". According to statistics, people are now purchasing more electronic books than conventional printed books, the main reason being the convenience and accessibility that this reading format offers. Imagine being able to take hundreds of books with you all the time! This is definitely a whole lot easier than having to carry around a couple of bulky novels with you when travelling, something that bookworms out there would really appreciate.

These e-books, once created, can be sold millions of times, spelling huge profits for writers, who could now directly sell their works online without all the expenses necessary for publishing, shipping, etc. An example would be J.K. Rowling's website where one can purchase Harry Potter e-books. Also worth noting is the positive environmental impact that would result from creating electronic files rather that cutting trees and consuming large amounts of energy to produce paper and publish printed copies.

This trend has definitely caught the publishing industry off-guard, with the heaviest book buyers opting to purchase digitally. Does this mean the end of publishers and printed books? I don't think so. About a month ago, a friend asked me if I wanted to buy a Kindle. I said it wasn't a gadget I could see myself buying because aside from not being much of a reader, I prefer printed books. Though there are times when I read stuff on-screen, I find it easier to learn and retain information by reading from paper.

Like me, there are a lot of other people out there who still go for the traditional books because unlike their digital siblings, they can be highlighted, written on, resold, lent, and even passed down as treasured heirloom. It is thus safe to say that e-books will not kill, but will rather complement printed editions. Besides, it is not the form of what you read that matters. It is the fact that you're reading and learning that is enriching.

Entry #11

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