Hey guys! :) So this is an article I wrote for school about e-readers. Let me know what you think! :)
It earned its name for the pieces of wood in a fire that spark flames and being the roots to the realm of books. This new creation is thin and weightless, fresh and vibrant, just to name just a few of the many elements it contains. Ideal costumers crave the satisfaction of these characteristics. If you were to go on any train, airplane, bus, or other mode of public transportation, you would be sure to see someone reading on one of these items. Just by clicking a few keys, you’re washed over with everything that makes avid readers content.
This product that so many people buy and use is called the Kindle. They have a certain inevitability–on any given day, you’re certain to tread into a book shop and see displays with customers cluttering around them. The Kindle is not the only type of reading device like this. People call this format the electronic book, “e-book” for short. There are many categories of e-books, but people typically chatter the most about the Kindle, the Nook Tablet, and the iPad. They have crystal-clear screens and space for many books, not to mention unlimited Internet access, games that fit in your pocket, and several other genius ideas. Lots of people appreciate their ability to read whatever book they would like with just a two-click journey to the Kindle Store. But, is it the same image that swirls into your mind when you think of a quiet but rainy eighteenth- century day reading your well-used book? Is it what you habitually do after a long day of stressful work?
When the first Kindle appeared, in fall of 2007, the popularity of the product was mind-blowing. It sold out within the first few hours of going on sale, to the extreme shock of Amazon. Amazon, not long after, discovered that there was a flaw in the design and had to ship them back to Taiwan. Since this fix, reviewers gush about the product. It lasts through eight straight hours of continuous reading and the product only weighs 14.3 ounces (413 grams).
Of the many advantages of e-books, portability is a very important element. If you’re reading several books at a time, it is so much less trouble to carry them all on a lighter, thinner device. “Two [print books] are in my purse, three are on my nightstand, and one’s on my desk. It’s easier to carry them all at once,” says Carol-Ann Pala, a librarian at the Irene duPont Library in Middletown, Delaware. You can carry a library of up to 1,500 books for something as regular as a trip to the doctor’s office. Did that book bore you? Well, luckily there are 1, 499 more to choose from!
Halfway out the door with your car keys? Not so fast. Instead of driving to a book shop, you can immediately download any book in mere minutes. Those who live abroad don’t often have the luxury of bookstores, therefore if you’re living in an area that doesn’t have as many shops for all tastes, the e-book can be lovely to have. Many librarians are getting e-books such as Kindles and iPads available in their libraries. “It’s easiest to get [the book the person wants] on an e-book because I can just hand [the e-book to the person] without having to go through and see if anyone has already checked that book out,” says Pala. Many librarians prefer e-books because you can get them instantly. “I’m running out of room [in the library] as most libraries are,” she says. Some earth lovers use e-books because the amount of paper and ink saved is unimaginable. “I think people should encourage e-books because of this,” Isabel Austin, 13, a sixth-grader in Madaba, Jordan, says. Because of all the reasons above, e-book sales were up by approximately 15% at the end of 2011.
Yet, avid readers often argue against e-books and all that they stand for–after all, your print book might be a comfort zone. When you’re having a lousy day, you can get lost into the invincibility of the worlds that only books offer, flipping the pages until you suck the last one’s words in. This is another popular argument. Still, the affect of e-books is similar. You’re still reading a great story, no matter the format. Some also say that printed books are used for things such as pressing flowers and folding pages. You can’t collect rare or old e-books. Maybe in a hundred years you could, but certainly not here in 2012! If you look through any bibliophile’s bookshelves, they’re filled with old books that have thinning pages, worn-out type, and annotations that were written many years ago. People do enjoy getting a new book— the fresh smell of the bookstore and the brand-new feel of the pages. But there is something so traditional, so eloquent, about and old book. “I think it would be a shame if all of those beautiful books melted away,” says Isabel.
In the last 60 years, many new inventions have become immensely popular. Think of email. Billions of networks connect to send emails back and forth, zipping to someone’s inbox across the street, or across the world! Having and old-fashioned book and handwriting a letter to a relative are very similar–that was what humans did sixty years ago. Now, when we get home from school or work, we flip open our laptops, and click a couple keys to get to our email. It doesn’t take two weeks; it takes about two seconds. All the content on the Internet (short for “Interconnected Network of Networks”) wasn’t there 35 years ago. Now, if you type in the word “hi” on google.com, approximately 4, 240, 000,000 results swirled to the screen in 0.11 seconds. It’s the same with the Kindle. So much content, and not even a second went by!
Most people can view the bright sides of both kinds of books. There are some people who are biased–the comfort that print books give them can’t be changed.. On the other hand, there are lots of people who love anything new–computers, cell phones, iPods, even the new brand of jeans on the rack of a store. Then there are the people who love both. “I always have a book in my bag,” explains Shannon, a Barnes & Noble employee, “but I carry my Nook Tablet when I’m traveling. It’s very convenient.” These people see that both are helpful in different situations, and that while it’s good to read print books sometimes, it’s interesting to try new things.
The history of books plays a key role in how we interpret the act of reading. Before Johannes Gutenberg established the printing press in 1440, books were handwritten and contained delicate calligraphy and intricate designs. They were rarely seen and when people did read them, they were read out loud. People who enjoyed this way of reading were scared that this new invention would affect the many gatherings they shared. In a strange way to grasp, they were right. We think of–and prefer–reading as a solitary activity, and we usually like to read in the peace and quiet with nothing but ourselves and the air circling around us. It wasn’t like this before the printing press.
The future is a mystery, but it’s unsolvable. By taking these new inventions and ideas into heart and mind, all of us can be a part of history. Things that are ambiguous to us now will be confirmed in a matter of years, but by then we’ll have more mysteries to solve.