The Rise of the E-Book

15 Oct

I love the sensation of turning worn pages between my fingertips as I sit beneath the warm sun. But, the reality is, the e-book phenomenon seems to be taking over.

WhenAmazon’s e-book reading device, the Kindle, was launched in the US in 2007, chief executive Jeff Bezos said the name referred to “a kind of fire” he planned to start in the book world.

Since ’07, E-Books now represent a staggering $969.9 million (USD) of US sales, grasping 16.55% of the total sales of books and as such, E-Books are substantially linked to the decreasing sales of printed books and bookstore closures.

The Book vs. The E-Book

The Book vs. The E-Book

Although the book industry continues to grow, the book itself seems to be losing its role and relevance in modern life. The US National Endowment for the Arts last year released a comprehensive report on changing reading habits among Americans.

PRO’S OF E-BOOKS

  • They’re easily readable. Most readers offer zoom functions, letter resizing, and so forth
  • They’re easily portable. You can carry multiple books on one device.
  • They’re much more environmentally friendly. You don’t have to kill a few trees for each book, and let’s not even talk about the ink. Recycling only goes so far.
  • Note-taking is much more powerful, and the notes you write can be found and referenced quickly and easily. And they don’t have to be permanent.
  • Lighting conditions essentially become meaningless. Many readers incorporate display lighting allowing you to read whenever and whereever you like.

CON’S OF E-BOOKS

  • Eye strain and RSI. Long periods spent in front of a screen are definitely not healthy!
  • Power: Your average e-book has 4-6 hours of battery life.
  • Nasty software bugs in the reader can cause it to freeze up.

 

SO, what’s the verdict?

Personally, I mix and match. I have an i-Pad, and read novels, websites, blogs amongst other things. I own more actual books than I do E-Books, and one of the main reasons why i have the i-Pad was to save me from lugging 2 or 3 heavy textbooks to-and-from Uni, where as now, I can simply download them! (That, and they are less than half the price as the actual hardcopy!) Paper books are still, and will always be my favorite though.

 

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