Sunday, July 05, 2009

in praise of the ereader

I'm really enjoying my Sony E-reader. I'm worried. Have I fallen out of love with paper? Or is this just an infatuation with the new. I've been reading manuscripts - it saves paper as I don't have to lug around a huge hefty wad of paper. (Are we going to be driven to ebooks for environmental reasons?) And more - I have access to a whole lot of manuscripts. I can pick and choose -wow! I can browse manuscripts. And I can read in odd moments like I do with a book. And I never lose my place. (And I never discovered I've printed out the whole script without page numbers.) But that's really manuscripts not books. I have one book on there. A book from an overseas publisher (a pdf), so it doesn't feel like a book being read for pleasure (though I'm absorbed). I do get lost though and went back to the computer once and its larger screen to get a sense of where I was in the pdf.

I think they'll take a while to takeoff though especially with teens and even kids. Except as an act of desperation, the phone screen is too small for comfortable reading. The ereaders are expensive (and they're no here yet!) Maybe electronic paper will be the iTunes moment for books. The genres will be conquered first.

What about non-linear books like our non-fiction picture books? Will they ever make and ebook?

1 comment:

Mel said...

I love this whole topic about the future of books. For me, reading a book is almost as much about curling up on the couch with a BOOK rather than another type of computer screen. Being a uni student I detest the idea of being in front of the computer for leisure as well as work. But as you said, I can read an ebook anywhere. I have 150 classics on my iPhone so will never be without something to read again. But I don't think the book will fade into oblivion. You have some interesting points about children and picture books. Those glossy, beautifully painted pages just can't be replaced. Well...they shouldn't be, in any case.