Thursday, July 17, 2008

E-Books Like "Vegetarian Meat"?

In a digital age, there is natural tendency to chuck away our physical books for e-reading gadgets. I get a feeling that many KDU students would rather log on to Wikipedia than go into the library.

Jordan Jacks from Yale University bemoans this trend and reemphasizes the very nature of books over against the superficiality(?) of e-reading devices like the Sony Reader.

"The problem with the Sony Reader is not its ease of use, its price, or the books it can display; the real problem with the Reader lies in its very existence. Boiled down to its essentials, the Sony Reader faces the same damning comparison as vegetarian lunch meat—why read the Sony Reader’s imitation ink, look at its “paper-like” display, or handle its book-aping flip covers, when the real thing is cheaper, easier to use, and comes in more than three colors?

"The Reader fundamentally changes what it means to read, transforming what was an escapist, often solitary act—a way to leave behind the considerations of schedules or electronic
timetables, the ineffable present of daily life—into an integrated communion with the modern world. How can you escape into a book when that book is linked to the rest of the daily, electronic grind?

"Readers must, in the act of reading, be allowed to be alone with a book."

What do you think? Wanna stay with 'real' books? Or will 'virtual' reading rule the world?

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