Remember the blog project I did last year with three other women? Well, Froggie decided to resurrect it with me and we each got to invite another friend to join us. She invited a mutual friend (someone I met through her) and I invited a friend whose blog I really enjoy reading. So now it's Froggie, Mom of Many, Moma Rock and Merrylandgirl. Hope you enjoy the topics that we'll be exploring!
This week, Moma Rock picked the topic: Books, magazines, paper publications are all available for our perusal now online through the Internet, E-readers, etc. This poses a huge threat for our libraries and book stores. Where do you feel these technological advancements are headed? Will hard copies be a thing of the past? What are your feelings about our print future?
Before reading ahead, first see what everyone else had to say on this topic:
Mom of Many
The other day, I was sitting in the break room and reading during lunch. ("Lone Wolf" by Jodi Picoult, which is really interesting and well written.) Another girl was reading on her Kindle. Someone commented to her about her new piece of reading technology and I said that I was just old fashioned. I was then thinking about how I got to meet Jodi Picoult and how she signed my book. She couldn’t do that with a Kindle. (There is Kindlegraph, but I think it’s something you do over e-mail, not in person.) I also thought of when I was waiting to pick up a pizza last week and one of the girls working at the restaurant saw I was reading a Jodi Picoult novel and struck up a conversation. That wouldn’t be as obvious if I were holding a Kindle.
When I saw “Back to the Future 2,” I thought the technological advances were just speculation. However, people are able to have a video phone conversation, thanks to Skype. These days, people can practically manage their entire lives with a single handheld device. So why not manage their book collections too? I remember how Borders went out of business last year and I attribute it to them not selling an e-reader. Barnes and Noble has the Nook, which definitely keeps them in business. You could send a book right from their website to your e-reader. The same goes for Kindle books from Amazon. There is also the perk of free e-books being offered almost daily. I will admit that I have an e-reader, but it’s attached to my computer. It was a free download and I mainly use it to read e-books that authors send me to review, as well as benefit from the free e-books that I hear about. My Kindle for PC is starting to rival my regular bookshelves!
There are some downsides to an e-reader. I can’t use it on Shabbat, since it’s electronic. I’m afraid to use it in the bathtub (yes, I like to read while relaxing in a bath) because there’s a chance I could drop it in the water and lose all the memory on it. (If I get water on a printed book, it will dry.) Not that I’d get an actual handheld e-reader anyway, so it would be a bit silly to bring my laptop in the bath! There is always the chance of having some glitch where I’ll lose my e-book collection. It just doesn’t seem as permanent as having print books. If I want to loan someone an e-book, there’s a two week policy, whereas people who borrow my print books could take as much time as they needed. An e-book doesn’t have that fresh new book smell. I also love the weight of a book in my hands and seeing my progress as the pages are turned. There aren’t page numbers on my Kindle for PC…only percent values. Seeing I’m on page 300 of 400 is more exciting to me than seeing I have 40% to go in an e-book. The only upside I see is that I could read something with a controversial cover and people would be none the wiser. It would have been nice to have when I was reading "The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out" by Jen Tucker. :)
As for magazines, I don’t like to read them online. There’s something about getting a magazine in the mail and reading each part of the glossy pages inside. If I read something online, it’s usually just an article someone told me to check out. Oddly enough, the same rule does not apply for reading the news. We don’t get an actual newspaper at the house and instead just check everything online. CNN’s website is the most reliable source for news information. I’ll also check the Washington Post online and sometimes Yahoo! news articles.
If others share my mentality in regards to print books vs. e-readers, I think books will still be around in the future. I also don’t expect children to know how to use an e-reader, nor would I want them to. I love that my kids have a huge book collection and enjoy watching my older son as he reads an actual book. There’s something to be said for the innocence of children and their enjoyment of print books. I hope I can continue to instill a sense of excitement over a print book so that they’ll want to keep them around for when they someday have kids.