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Will Traditional Books be Replaced by New Technology?

Will Traditional Books be Replaced by New Technology

One thing is for sure, books are absolutely amazing. They can take you anywhere you want to go without ever leaving your couch. They offer you a wealth of information as well as evoke lots of emotions. With books, you are only bound by your own imagination. Knowing all of this, it’s clear why people have been so passionate about them over the years. 

Still, no matter how wonderful they are and the wealth of knowledge and enjoyment they provide, books are simply not convenient. Anyone who has more than just a small collection of books has most likely spent countless hours sorting them, organizing them, loaning them, and hauling them around. So, the question these days is this: are traditional books the best way to get your knowledge and enjoyment in today’s fast-paced technological world? 

Enter the E-Reader! This is an electronic device that allows you to read all sorts of things from fiction to nonfiction books, to newspapers and magazines, and so much more! These days, the “e-reader” has become so technologically advanced that you can even watch movies, play games, surf the web, listen to music, and so much more! 

When you see all that these handy little devices have to offer, you have to wonder if it’s possible that it will revolutionize the way people are reading? Is it possible for these handheld devices to eventually push traditional books by the wayside? The truth is that both e-readers and traditional books have both advantages and disadvantages. 

Advantages & Disadvantages of E-Readers & Traditional Books

Advantages & Disadvantages of E-Readers & Traditional Books

The question has already been asked: is it possible for these handheld devices to push traditional books by the wayside? However, before you can find an answer to this, you must first find out everything that these amazing little devices can do. There are dozens of e-readers on the market today. At one time, there was not one particular device that was good at everything, so people were choosing their device based on what was the most important option to them. 

Some of the e-readers are just that- readers. You can read printed materials on them. Sure, a few of them do have the ability to connect to the internet, and may have a few other functions. However, the main purpose of these is simply to read. 

Some of the other “e-readers” are actually called tablets and come with an array of options, including Wi-Fi and full color touch screens. These are very similar to a laptop computer in their abilities, but they are much more compact and easy to carry.

Now for the comparison of e-readers to traditional books. First, when you want to go spend a day at the beach, you can easily take your traditional book with you as you enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. On the other hand, the e-readers can be tricky to take to the beach because of the glare. It’s easier to take a standard e-reader because they are typically grayscale or black and white, so you can read them much easier with the sun beaming overhead. 

Books are a possession that we like to share, right? If you’re like most people, chances are that you’ve loaned your share of books to friends and family. However, when it comes to the e-readers, this is tricky. Most of the time, when you purchase an e-book or magazine, it’s yours and only yours. Some services such as Barnes & Noble or Amazon do have a program where you can loan a book for a specific period of time. When that time has expired, the e-book is automatically deleted from the library of the individual that borrowed it. 

Another issue that comes up when comparing e-readers and traditional books is cost. You can spend $100 or more on an e-reader. Books, even best sellers, can be purchased for around $10 or less. Also, if you do your book shopping at second-hand stores, or you borrow it, the e-reader can be a pretty hefty investment. 

On the other hand, if your library of books could rival your local public library, an e-reader can be a good thing. Sure, it’s a lot of money up front, but it will end up saving you lots in the long term. You’ll be able to get many of your books for very low prices and in some cases, FREE! Plus, the devices usually have plenty of storage capacity- enough to hold thousands of books. So, when you’re travelling, instead of choosing one or two books to take with you, you can take your entire library. 

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

So, as we gaze into the future, it’s still very unclear whether or not e-readers will take over and push traditional books out of our minds. One thing we can consider is the music industry- until recently, there were only a few ways that music could be distributed and enjoyed by listeners. Today, though, you can get MP3 formats, listen to music online, watch music videos on YouTube, and so much more. All of this new music technology has revolutionized the music industry as we know it. So, it is very possible that the same thing can happen with books. 

On the other hand, before you can say that books will become extinct, you must be aware that there are still people who have an attachment to printed books. Reflecting again upon the music industry, though it has been revolutionized and it seems a bit silly, there are still people holding tight to their vinyl collections because of the rich, beautiful sound they provide. 

When it comes to convenience, yes, it seems very practical to have books in digital format. Still, traditional books will never completely go away. Antique books are beautiful, and nothing will ever change that. 

The truth is this: sure, e-reader sales are skyrocketing, but sales of traditional books are still as strong as ever in some retailers, so these sales are definitely not suffering. Still, due to the increasing popularity of the marvelous devices, it is possible that sales of traditional books will eventually slow down. There’s no doubt that the world of publishing has made some major changes. If you prefer the feel and smell of a traditional book, you can be assured that they will never go away. They will simply find a place on the shelf right next to the e-reader.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

A bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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