Real books or e-books

1:26 pm Blogroll

There are now a number of electronic book readers on the market which display books purchased as e-books or in electronic form.  I’ve been quite skeptical about this book readers but the other day an acquaintance of mine showed me hers.

When she had first purchased her book reader she had been very enthusiastic about it.  She travels a lot for work and the storage capacity of these book readers held real appeal.  To be away and have such a choice of books available to you seemed amazing.  All those long plane journeys and wasted airport time could now be filled with hours and hours of reading.

Then she seemed to go off the book reader.  She didn’t like the reading expereince on it and she took a dislike to several books she had read on it simply due to the fact of reading on it.  She made a number of excuses about the way the expereince of reading on the book reader made her feel and I thought my own uncertain feelings about these machines had been justified.

But she persisted, became more familiar with the reader’s capabilities and grew to really like it again.  When she showed it to me, it was firmly on her list of ‘great gadgets to own’ and she was again very happy with it.  She thought that there was a certain amount of getting used to it which she had failed to acknowledge before.

The little electronic gizmo she showed me didn’t seem very robust – a concern for those of us who are not always careful with things.  And it didn’t seem very big.  I just glanced at it really because I’m not tech-savvy and I would need time to acquaint myself with even the most straight forward features.

Now I don’t travel much so the storage capacity does not hold a great deal of appeal to me.  And I am uncertain whether the standard has really been settled for electronic and downloadable books.  I would hate to buy a machine which then locked me into buying all my books from one source.  Until I am convinced that this issue has been fully addressed I won’t be buying one.

But there will always be purists who will want the feel of a ‘real’ book in their hands and who won’t want to use a screen gesture to turn a page.  However I do believe that books in general might well survive if these little gadgets are embraced.  Young people with their familiarity with screen media and their ease of using all the latest technology are more likely to be drawn towards books (which I believe have been a distant second on the entertainment front compared with entertainment such as computer and electronic games) in electronic form.

So while I doubt that there is going to be a big demand for these book readers among the over 45s, they will probably be embraced by the younger generation.  And having said that I have started to see them around – in coffee shops, among colleagues and in other various locations so perhaps their popularity is already growing.

Happy reading.

Sue Smith, Director of Exam Services

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