As a general rule, I tend to have at least two books on the go at any given time. Before I went in to marketing and copywriting, I worked in a large bookstore. The walls of my living room are lined with bookshelves that are overflowing with works of fantasy, biographies, cookbooks, atlases, encyclopedias, you name it. In short, I love books. They are and have been the cornerstone of society for many, many centuries.
But apparently it’s all changing. Last year, Amazon said that eBooks were outselling hardcovers. During my 45 minute bus commute to work every day, I see at least five people with their eyes glued to some form of eReader. I do still see people reading books the old fashioned way, but it seems that more and more often, I’m seeing electronic books.
I’ve been toying with the idea of purchasing some form of eBook reader or downloading eBooks for my BlackBerry for a couple of months now, but I’m still on the fence about it. Here’s what I know about eBooks:
- Lighter than most books
- Allows you to care multiple books at once
- Highly portable, allowing you to read anywhere, anytime
- Much cheaper in the long run
- For people with difficulty reading small fonts in books, it’s much easier to enlarge text (still on a small screen for a smartphone but bigger on a tablet)
- Devices require charging so you can’t exactly read on a deserted island
- Like any computer, inherent hardware issues are likely
- Destroys the novelty of books (some would argue)
- Wide variety of eBook formats makes choosing an eReader difficult
- eBooks often crowd mobile app stores and drown out real apps
- LCD screens can cause eye strain
- One would only need to look to the music industry to see that piracy often becomes an issue anytime something goes digital/electronic
So, from here, the argument seems equal on either side. It looks to me like it’s a matter how much stock you would personally put in each pro and each con.
For now, I’m still on the fence. What do you guys think?
Does the medium matter? Are eBooks destroying the novelty of paper books? Or should we accept this as the next step in the advancement of literature? Let me know in the comment section.