Well, books are nothing but the art of literary works. Starting from the very primitive era where ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’ had been recorded as the first written story to the present-day world where the concept of e-books has been established, the primary motive of an individual is to achieve success. And for achieving the success he tries to bring down the atmosphere to as comfortable as he can.
Late 20th century and early 21st century has witnessed many great inventions. The invention and increased usage of smartphones and tablets are probable what has lead to the popularization of e-books, even changing the attitude of people towards reading altogether. So much have these inventions affected people that some are now of the view that E-books are the death of paper books while some people still believe in the old traditional way of reading.
For me, it is somewhat a different concept. Surveys conducted by several agencies have revealed that every passing year witnesses a gradual increase in the number of e-book readers. This data supports the fact that e-books may become the death of paper books.
In fact, many avid readers now support the concept of e-books simply because of the various advantages it has. One of such several advantages is that there is much lesser weight to carry. Earlier one needed to carry heavy books from one place to another but with the coming of e-books this problem has been annihilated. Also, the concept of sustainable development is also being propagated through the notion of online reading.
But I still hold a strong support towards the traditional way of reading literature i.e. through paper books; I am still a paper book lover. It's just pleasing to fondle with a book, the sweet smell of the pages, and the heave of the book. The majority is of the opinion that continuous reading can only be done on paper books. Online reading will obviously give more strain to your eyes than paper reading and thus one cannot develop a continuous flow in e-books. It's usually painful to read on a screen; often people end up taking printout which ultimately costs them a lot of money. Once, while reading an e-book I noticed that the novel was 80% finished as given in the device, but in reality, I had already completed the book. The remaining 20% included the summary of the novel, an interview with the author, and acknowledgment as expressed by the author. Paper books are far superior when it comes to letting you know your place in a book, and that's why the author prefer them.
A majority are of the view that e-books are far more accessible than paper books. But this concept is clearly negated by the fact that for having an access to e-books one must have a proper device for it, i.e. one must have a Smartphone or a Tablet or any other device equipped for it. For this, one needs to have the financial resources. People from the lower income groups may not have proper resources to get an access to the e-books. On the other hand, one can easily go into a library and study all they want without such heavy expense. Therefore paper books are far more accessible.
The advancement of technology is like a double-edged sword which has affected E-books as well. There are many websites which offer us to download the E-book for free. But the official distribution site of that particular E-book charges us in order to have a complete view. These malicious websites have certainly infringed the copyright right of the official site.
Another facet which further supports my point is that in an e-book the format needs to be compatible with the device intended to be used. If it is not compatible then it could become an inconvenience to readers.
I do not mean to say that paper books will prevail over e-books. As the synonym goes ‘loss and gain are brothers twain’, the intention here is to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the upcoming concept of e-books.
Despite the disadvantages of e-books, there are also many advantages. E-books will definitely have an edge over paper books simply because the amount of comfort it provides to the readers and also because of the technological advancements taking place.
This, however, does not mean that it will lead to the death of paper books. Paper books will never be exterminated. The dictum of ‘old is gold’ absolutely fits this situation. Both e-books, as well as paper books, are appropriate in their own places; there is a time and place for both. They are like two parallel lines which will never intersect each other. What counts at the end of the day is the hard work and the amount of success one has achieved.
In a nutshell, I feel that in spite of the rapid advancement of e-books, paper books will never ever disappear.
Tanveer Singh Patheja
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and do not reflect the views and opinions of the Blog.