Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Will the glorious past of books ever return?

I think not. Books were one of the most useful things mankind manufactured, and they were there thousands of years before printing was even discovered. Mankind progressed from carving on stone tablets (witness Moses' Ten Commandments or the Rosetta Stone), to Papyrus paper, to paper made 

Rosetta stone, at the British Museum

Paper made from the Papyrus plant

from the bark of trees to recycled paper. Books have survived most kinds of progress mankind has made. Even during the first seventy years after the arrival of the computer, books continued to remain popular among the masses. The real change away from books has occurred only in the last two decades, and more so in the last seven or eight years when Internet v.2.0 arrived on the scene. I mean social media. The arrival of these social media have taken people away from serious and engaging pastimes like reading or writing or painting to frivolous and even more engaging pastimes like checking others' lives, being voyuers or publicity-seeking hounds, like playing nonsensical games throughout the day (and sometimes late into the nights), like straining at the hand-held smart phone devices and chatting with friends (are they really off-line friends or just guys or girls whom you befriended online) and so on.

Today, the erstwhile book-reading middle-aged person who is computer savvy prefers to read the books in their soft-format as e-books on their laptops or smart phones. Additionally, they claim that avoiding purchase of books is also friendly to trees and therefore environment-friendly. Don't computers and devices also generate junk when their time has come?  Like those others, I, too, have almost completely switched over to e-books. I prefer the Kindle ones from Amazon, but I will take them in any format they come in. Peer-sharing web-sites allow people to share lay books as well as otherwise painstakingly compiled professional books without any payment to the writer of the book. Chatting apps like Telegram allow us to share these books without going anywhere else but inside the chat. (Telegram is available for Android, Windows and iOs operating systems, and can even be run on one's laptop.)

So, to answer the question I posed in the title: I really think that printed books will perhaps last out my generation, but slowly, they will expire, and be replaced with e-books. It is better to join the bandwagon and buy them off the net; or write e-books that you can sell on Amazon or any other similar site. 

What do you readers think? I will welcome your comments and thoughts, please.


vin said...

Which model of Kindle do you recommend or should i just install the app on my phone instead of lugging around another piece of hardware?

Vibha said...

I would like to think that books will survive, but I must admit I am being over-optimistic. I agree that it is prudent to adapt to e-books, but cherish printed books too. They will one day be rare commodity.

Nandan Jha said...

I agree with your sentiment but I do not think it is going to happen so soon, as in our lives time. Why ? , because I still see a tons of Radio sets all around. Yes, when we reach home, most likely we are going to switch on the TV or play music from our own collection but still we find time to tune in the Radio while we are traveling, and we still them all around.

I may be in denial since I personally enjoy reading from paper-medium.

AAB said...

Agreed. Books may stay as a luxury.