Monday, May 16, 2005

Literary quote

"A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you."
— Daniel J. Boorstin

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So my questions to you are simple:
  • Is the book, as a physical form of delivering and consuming literature, dead?
  • Are downloaded ebooks going to take over from their paper-based ancestors?
  • Why? Why not?

19 comments:

amanda m. said...

One simple thing... compters, and therefore ebooks, don't smell like books.
For most readers a book is not just the words on paper, if it was we'd be a paperless society by now, it is the tactile feel of the pages, the smell of the ink and the glue and the paper, it's the weight of it and the different texture of the cover to the inside.
I adore my laptop, but most of the time I leave it at hme.
I take a book everywhere.

Ms Mac said...

No, I don't think books will ever die. There is something special about books that a computer screen just can't deliver. You can't use a bookmark, you can't fall asleep with a laptop in your hand, you can't show off your online book collection and lovingly dust them in the bookcase!

Maddie said...

They don't sell Ebookcases. They would be ugly too, I bet.
But seriously, nothing is better than curling up on your favorite comfy couch in your pj's reading a great book.
I agree with Amanda also, the smell of books, wether old or new...there's no replacing that.

sxKitten said...

I agree with Amanda - a big part of the appeal of reading is the tactile experience. I can't imagine anything electronic that could recreate the pleasure of sitting with a small child in my lap, turning the pages together.

I suspect (and hope) that the act of reading books to our children instills in them the same love of books, as well as reading, thus preserving the printed word for at least another generation. And I plan to read to my grandchildren as often as possible, too.

Long live the book!

Thumper said...

I seriously doubt books will ever go away. Every form of e-book delivery has been a dismal failure; people don't want to curl up with a nice hard piece of plastic or a computer screen to read, they want to curl up with a real book.

For that same reason, when print on demand eventually wins over as a publishing standard (and I think it will) bookstores will still have hard copies that people can pull off the shelves to hold and flip through...it's that sensory experience that ties people to books.

Christine said...

Never. As much as I love my computer, it can not replace an actual book. I love to flip throught the pages and wonder what adventures await me within. The ones I've read become good friends. Not only do I love to read them, but I just love to have them. Someday I would love to have a room set aside as a library, just filled with shelves of books.

Ebooks are convienent occasionally, but could never replace an actual book. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Gwen said...

I like real books too, but one of the exciting things about e-books is the opportunities it lends to people with visual disabilities. If you need large print, a print book can get gigantic and heavy to hold for a frail person - imagine getting the same size text on an e-book reader that only weighs a few pounds/ounces.

I like e-books for the options they present (but I'm not disputing the beauty of creamy paper and a leather bound cover).

Dean said...

I'm betting that there will be something at some point that will recreate some of the tactile pleasures of a book. A thin, flexible film with low-contrast text on it, for example. You could roll it up and tuck it in your pocket. It might hold a hundred books.

What you read here, of course, are people who grew up with books. Our children may not feel the same way.

Moogie said...

Ah...nothing beats a book, a real book. Holding in in your hands. Let me be more specific. Lying down on the couch in your sun room, or snuggled under the covers. For me, actually being able to hold it and manually turn the pages. Letting my mind wander as I become the character. Going places that I would never go visit in my wildest dreams..becoming a heroine.

Sitting with my children and reading, watching as my youngest reads and struggles to sound out the words. All of us lying together in bed...reading, and imagining.

You can't do that with an ebook. It's just not the same. I pray it will never be the norm.

Raehan said...

The texture. The ability to leave your mark on it and notice the marks that other people have left. I can't get comfortable in bed with a computer on my lap. I just can't.

You are asking the wrong person. I want to be an archivist when I grow up: rare books and manuscripts. Although I must admit a lot of these books are being put onto computer now, too.

Angie said...

I love real books. I love the smell of very old pages, glues and inks. I love the feel of the paper and the weight of the bound word in my hands. For myself and my husband it is a very sensual experience to consume the written word in book form, to wander the stacks in libraries, to sift through the shelves in a used book store. I have touched a 15th century book while wearing white gloves! O-M-G!!! I own a 1745 dictionary! A computer can NEVER replace that experience. Now you think I am a freak.
Angie
http://www.bigredcouch.com/journal/

Terry said...

I can take my laptop to bed (but the missus frowns on that)! :-)

Tonnes of books though, we have to get rid of some soon.

CanEragon said...

Nothing compares to a book. I mean the anticipation of visiting the Bookshop, Indigo, in my case, i could spend HOURS hunting for something good to read. It's almost cathartic sometimes, especially when Harry Potter is involved.

I love books, it is ceremonious bringing the book home, the getting into a warm bed, and opening the dust cover for the first time, savoring the words on the pages.

I can spend hours rading in bed, when I am wrapped in a story.

I don't DO e-books. where's the excitement of the read?

I could get lost in a book store and I have - it is an escape from the every day world to be surrounded by literature of various sources.

It's the one place I go to recharge my batteries on a regular basis.

Reading is fundamental.

That's my take on the "book."

Peace,
Jeremy

Zee said...

Tech won't replace a good old book for me. There's a certain magic and energy from reading a book that simply cannot be duplicated by today's modern technologies. Reading a book engages all the senses, and then some. :o)

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

We have books in every single room in the house. Even the smallest room (mostly poems in there!). And you can't read an ebook in the bath. So, no, the book will never die.

Jezzy said...

Nothing will ever replace curling up in bed with a book.

And anyway - you can never read things the same off a screen - it's like how you don't discover typos until you print things out.

Rachel - Wicked Ink said...

I think the words that are permanently printed down have it won. And always will.

E-Books and anything computerish, is not permanent. It is temporary and therefore can be altered or changed or deleted with the sweep of a hand.

So sad, really.

Mellie Helen said...

Another bibliophile chiming in with a winning preference for actual books. Sure, I read ebooks; it's handy to have something on my Palm when I'm in a waiting situation. But ebooks only supplement our paper library. No Fahrenheit 451 yet, please. Nice, btw, to see your comments back :)

Sweetie said...

There is something about having a book in your hands and taking in each word (twice or three times sometimes) that causes me to become ONE with the story.

Staring at a computer screen with the harsh glare on the eyes just gets old and somehow feels "hurried". I guess what I'm trying to say is a PC or a laptop is for ease and convenience while a book is to hold and savor.