Remember all the tumult and furor generated when humankind moved from cave paintings to stone tablets, and again to scrolls before settling comfortably on bound-paper books? No? Well, I don’t either, but I’m sure it was quite a to-do at the time.
If Moses had carried the commandments down from the mountain on a Kindle or Nook, we might have ended up with 15 commandments instead of ten (as Mel Brooks suggests in his movie, History of the World, Part I ). Considering the struggle we have with the ten we know about, perhaps it’s for the best.
Nonetheless, when technology puts on her running shoes, it’s no use protesting we just got here and begging to stay a while longer. Organisms must adapt or die.
In many ways, I hate to see the book go, but that’s just the romantic in me. As an author, I can say there is something about seeing your own book in print. You also never forget the first time someone asks for your autograph on something besides a speeding ticket.
As a reader though, I love my Nook. I can carry an entire library with me. The e-reader weighs no more when it contains hundreds of books than when it contains one. It automatically marks my place in each book I’m reading. The text is searchable. I can change the font size. I don’t even have to leave the comfort of my own home to find and download a book. When I find a book I want, it’s about twenty percent of the cost of its paper counterpart. That’s only the beginning. These things have features galore. In virtually every respect, e-readers leave books in the dust.
Print may not be dead just yet, but it’s not “getting better,” to borrow a line from Monty Python. What’s your view?