Millions of books are printed and millions never get sold or is only read once before being confined to a dusty shelf for the rest of eternity.
Considering today's technological advances I think it's only a matter of time, till books as we know them, are no more.
As a book lover this pains me to some degree, because yes, holding the physical book in your hand cannot be beaten by any e-reader... or so I used to say - before I had even tried an e-reader. I was very sceptical when they first introduced digital books, but having now played with book various e-readers (kindle and ipad to name a few) I cannot argue that they are very nice to use.
The technology will keep on getting even better and I truly think it's the way to go eventually. You can take notes, you can zoom in, zoom out, highlight and best of all? You can carry thousands of books in your bag rather than just a couple. What I wouldn't have gived to own such a device when I started university! The money I've spent on physical copies of books and texts. The mountains of paper that's been spent on making photocopies of this and that. Imagine how much simpler it would have been had I had everything stored on such a device. I wouldn't sit here staring at a bookcase full of paper that's going to be thrown out the minute I have my bachelor degree as I have absolutely no further use for it. I wouldn't have lost articles and documents due to bad infrastructure in my room. I would have it all on a hard drive and once I was done with it I could press delete and it would disappear into the nothingness of which it came.
People out there will scream and rage and cling on to their books, and while I can feel their pain, I still think that maybe it's time we stop being so selfish and give it a try. Less resources will be wasted, books should theoretically become cheaper as less work (or rather, the entire printing stage) is necessary. Of course you can argue that this will result in less work for people and also though fewer resources are spent on books, more will be spent on the machines. And I suppose it's easier to recycle a book than it is plastic/metal thing. But if we enter that chasm of darkness it's all negative as we can dwell on how much the human race wastes and kills and destroys.
So I won't do that. I will think of the unicorns and the rainbows and the rainforest that people on the internet can't quite agree on whether or not is going to run out of trees. I will remember that we are a species that struggles to cope without internet access. I will remember, even if vaguely, Moore's law on how technology is racing to improve and do better. I will point out that if books aren't printed it should make it easier for new writers to get published (by themselves if they have to) and thus more material will hit the market (and yes that will inevitably mean more crap on the market as well, but try and think positive here). I will focus on all the good things I can think off and then I'll hope Santa brings me an e-reader come next Christmas.
Today's article brought to you by a naive little girl who doesn't have the financial resources yet to buy an e-reader, but is just really tired of all the dust in her room that gathers on her bookshelves.
Post by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2010---
This article was in no way sponsored by anybody