So I finally decided on an e-book reader and chose the Kindle over the Nook. Now I won't get into the debate concerning the different machines. In addition, will not be getting into the debate on the pricing of e-books compared to books in print. I will say that authors should be paid what they deserve based on book sales (print and digital). What I did want to address was the comment that a friend of mine made (that I will refer to a SG) about my using a Kindle. Here are her exact words:
"Society is coming to an end....read a REAL book!"
Now, I know some of it was tongue in cheek (at least I believe it was) but she was serious about her preference for books over digital versions and their reading apparatus. To that I say: Cool. I mean everyone is entitled to what they like and dislike. Hey, I like books too. In her defense she never did say that she hated e-books but that she preferred actual books:
I like BOOKS....pages, binding, notes in the margin...BOOKS! Sorry...its not the same to cuddle in bed with a book as a...electronic pad. I refuse to be converted! =)
Hey, I'm not in the converting business so no worries there =P But what I find odd is that fellow historians (in general, not SG specifically) would be against the use of an e-book. I can see the objection of people who work and make their living in the publishing field. But for those of us who are in the field of information, the digital preservation and distribution of material is not destroying society. On the contrary, by taking old books and manuscripts that due to their age are in limited use can now be accessible to more people. Books will no longer be a victim of time and be only available to only a choice few.
Will e-books totally eradicate print? Personally I don't think so. I think both mediums can co-exist reaching a wider reading population in their own ways. As for me, my field requires that I use books. As a historian, I need books to cite the information that will help me prove or disprove my thesis statement. What I hate is when public books are defaced by people writing in them and ripping pages out. But with the changing of the times, more and more information is available digitally (online and in different e-book formats). With having complete (and unmolested) books online, research is optimized not limited. With that said, the ways of citing said information has adapted to include online materials. In my humble opinion, it is not the way the information is delivered and presented that is important but the information itself.
What do you think.
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