Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Well there you go...

This article from the dear old BBC on why this year probably won't be "The year of the electronic book"

Having worked in the book trade for 15 years, I can't remember a year since oooh, about 1997, that wasn't going to be "The year of the electronic book" but here we are, hanging on in there with our antiquated quill and ink.


Mr Sam said...

2 anti-eBook links in 2 days, eh? Seems you're reeling me in again...

All I know is I've enjoyed poking my nose into The Glass Books of The Dream Eaters on the train & thanks to my eBook reader, this 700+ page bad boy now fits snugly into my coat pocket. And if I'm not in the mood, I have a dozen or so other books to choose from, without having to lug around a heavy rucksack. No bad back for me.

I feel the points raised in the BBC article are interesting in the context of historical documents but are not applicable in contemporary times. Perhaps I could write little notes to people in a Harry Potter tome, rather than sending them an email but considering how many millions of the same book are out there, it's more likely to be pulped for recycling in the future than kept to enlighten our ancestors with fascinating insights into Quidditch & tracker mortgages.

Books were simply much rarer back then, so the romanticised view that the article presents has already passed - unless you include the anti-theft note left on the side of a sellotape dispenser by a former work colleague, which remains to this day in her honour.

Personally, it irks me when people damage books by folding the corners or writing in the margins, so the article hasn't milked any romanticism out of my stony heart, I'm afraid (do you milk romanticism? I dunno...)

Paige Turner said...

Books to me are a treasure. We live in an age with access to almost anything. I like going to the library, or the bookstore, just looking between the shelves. I pick up any book that fancies me.
I usually go to a corner where no one will bother me, and I will stay for hours.
I must say, books ARE a treasure. The romanticism of it still exists. How could it go away? Books are a way to share knowledge freely. People have a way to record their thoughts, and when you read them you can get an insight into their mind.
I do agree times are changing- I'm not against the ebook. It will be nice to have a portable way to carry books around (I move a lot). But replace books? I think not.
It is easy to forget how much of a treasure books are because we receive them so freely. But in other parts of the world, it is not so. The old ideas of books being a treasure still exist, but stronger in places where they must fight for them.