We are surrounded by an ever-growing pile of technological devices with all sorts of bells and whistles. Even the simple mobile phone has already become more like a pocket PC, with mp3s, mp4, mail, facebook and alarms! The next step in the tech revolution seems to be reading devices. Just take a look around the metro and you’ll see: more and more people are leaving behind those dog-eared books on dusty shelves and grimy coffee tables in favour of shiny electronic tablets, which they can fill with all the books and texts they wish.
But what about the magical nostalgia and tangibility of books? Will these devices replace our long-loved books or live alongside them? I wonder if maybe there is magic in a plastic device joining the ranks of the myriad other plastic devices that we carry and play with every day, so much so that it sometimes seems that nearly everything we touch is plastic. Books, on the other hand are beautiful creations filled with art, with smells, with notes and they even lend libraries their characteristic aura. Somehow they become one with our lives and identity and part of our surroundings yet for many people today, they will become decorations for home libraries that are neither touched nor read!
I think back on underlining the phrases that touched me, the accidental stains of coffee or tea or wine, and the crinkle of the leaves! Can a plastic electronic device ever possibly take on so much identity?
Make no mistake, technology helps us out and makes our lives faster and easier but oftentimes is lacking the “magic” of older formats.
So what are you waiting for? Grab those books you’ve been meaning to read and buy that plane ticket to take a well-deserved vacation in an apartment in Budapest!
While researching the history of e-books, and how these electronic reading devices have evolved, I have been surprised at all the proven advantages of such devices compared traditional books. I should clarify that I do not think of myself as an anachronistic enemy of the future like those who wave their banners against technological advances. Among all the advantages I found, I only found one, rather absurd disadvantage: “One of the disadvantages is the possible injury to the spine caused by the poor posture exhibited by readers using electronic devices “. Honestly, I can not help but laugh and then feel a bit perplexed as to the simplicity and naiveté of this disadvantage.
To clarify: talking about e-books means talking about books in electronic formats that can be found on the net for free or bought, which can then be stored in special reading devices designed only for this task. Since the year 1971, when the Gutenberg Project, began to digitize books in the public domain and make them publicly available, e-book technology hasn’t stopped developing. Currently various devices are on the market, manufactured by top brands. While diverse models are available, this diversity is not reflected prices; devices and files tend to be rather costly, due in large part to the intellectual property of the works.
Certain features of e-books, like comfort, can be real advantages to these devices, as well as certain ecological factors (which really depend on how you’re looking at it). They have an ample storage card which means that a single device can “carry “hundreds of books, making them perfect for air travel: Rent apartments in Budapest and enjoy reading your favourite book in this charming city. Just imagine, reading all of the volumes of “Lord of the Rings” without having to carry them in your bag because you have a new lightweight gadget complete with electronic ink and a “paper effect” screen to carry them for you. And if you’re bored? Well, there are a hundred more books that you can read whenever you want! However a little voice in me says that those uncomfortable postures might not be the only disadvantage…