Can E-books Ever Erase Our Love of the Printed Page?
As an English Literature student, an avid reader and an (attempted!) writer, there is nothing that brings me more happiness than the feel of a book in my hands. Not only is it traditional and a thing of nurtured and crafted beauty, but books also bring back memories of childhood and reading before bed. However, in an increasingly technology based society, printed books and bookshops are having to massively adapt. The rise of the e-reader and the e-book is upon us, but does everyone think it’s such a good change?
According to a recent study, young children are calling for books in print as opposed to e-books even more than they did two years ago! This desire massively conflicts the new age of technology that has largely been aimed at the younger generations. However it seems that e-books and things such as the Kindle have been a huge success with older generations than with younger ones. Younger generations (who have been brought up in the new age of technology) appear to be rejecting e-books and calling for traditional printed pages instead!
While this desire for printed books is fantastic, it’s not difficult to see the huge appeal of items such as the Kindle and other e-readers that take our books from the page to the screen. The cost of the books that you can download are vastly cheaper than buying a printed copy, and often classics such as novels by Charles Dickens or Jane Austen are completely free of charge! The e-reader and books act as an investment piece, further highlighting the financial appeal in a struggling economy. However, are these appealing financial reasons enough to sway the public and make us switch from our printed traditional books, and enter into the 21st century and embrace the e-book?
In my personal opinion, the turn away from printed pages and the acceptance of the e-book as the norm illiminates the humanistic element of the book. As a child I went to numerous book signings of my favourite children’s authors such as Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo; I waited in lines, so excited to have my book signed by the person who wrote it. As an adult my beloved gift of all time was a signed first edition of one of my favourite books. A physical book is personal, it’s sentimental and most importantly, it’s human. I mean lets face it – you can hardly have a favoured author sign your Kindle screen now can you? While e-books are practical, economic and in the long run cheaper the experience of reading a book fits into none of these categories. To read a book is to experience a world of imagination, wonder and the joy that comes from physically turning those pages is something that should be experienced from a young age. Unfortunately, for me personally, the experience and the sensation of reading are completely lost when I’m staring at a screen instead of a perfect printed page.
What do you think? Would you rather read a real book or a Kindle? Let us know in the comments section below!