There has long been an argument among readers about the form of book one chose to read. Many are concerned that the birth of e-books will mean the death of the physical.
I personally don’t think this is true. I
believe that each format has its place. For example, you can’t fill a bookshelf with e-books. I don’t get quite the same soothing effect browsing my kindle library as I do my physical one. I crave the physical presence of a good paper printed book. On the other hand, especially after becoming a mother to an infant, I highly value my e-books. I can certainly say I’d get almost no reading done if I was limited to physical copies. Its rather difficult to hold a tome of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while also trying to support a 4 month old who just wiggles and squirms in excitement as you read aloud. If affords me the ability to read in an otherwise dark room without disturbing my daughter, who took ages to properly fall asleep. Plus, you can’t knock the ability to have a book ready to go within seconds of finishing your previous one.
Both definitely have their place in my life and I can honestly say I don’t prefer one over the other. In fact, E-readers may be making reading even more readily accessible. I struggle to find a flaw in this.
We’re introducing SimplyE, a new app that gives NYPL cardholders the ability to browse, borrow, and read more than 300,000 free e-books from the Library, in just a few steps. Download SimplyE, log in with your library card and PIN, and start reading! Get it on iOS and Android.
The latest book instalment of the LDN series by Antony Cairns has taken the term Digital Photobook to new extremes. Using recycled old e-book tablets, Cairns has hacked into the software of the computer within the tablet and made it possible to view the entire archive of imagery he has created for his London by night work. You can do this through selecting a chapter / title on the main contents page that you are confronted with when unlocking the E-ink tablet from its LDN EI cover page screensaver. As you flick thru page by page each image is composed by the shifting pixels of the Electronic Ink screen. Not only has the software of the E-reader been hacked but also the hardware has taken a significant bruising and remodelling, each book has been customised with a new back attached and unwanted parts like the keyboard covered and deemed redundant for the purpose.
So, I received a Kobo e-Reader for Christmas, and while I am grateful for the gift, I had a thought.
Now I buy a lot of books because I like to read, but I prefer to use normal copies when at home, but I’d read my Kobo when out, because it’s smaller to fit into a bag. The only issue is, I buy these proper copies of books for large amounts of money. Then, I start reading them at home, but should I go out I have two options:
Start a new book when out, which will be confusing, as I often forget story lines.
Buy the same book in e-book form, meaning I’ve spent twice the amount I originally intended to pay.
So, here’s my thought. When I buy a book, I think you should be able to use the ISBN from the copy and put it into your e-reader, so you can have both a normal and digital copy of the book. Similarly to what a lot of films are now doing, where you get a copy available to use on your phone/tablet/computer.
Just a thought. Do you agree that this should be an option?
The Fiske Reading Machine was 1922’s version of the e-reader. Using a font size that could be measured only in gnome tears, each book was printed onto a series of thin pamphlet cards. Once slotted into the machine, all the reader had to do was look through the eyeglass and, voila, reading. It was reported at the time that Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad, a weighty tome clocking in at 93,000 words, could be shrunk down to only 13 pamphlets, which is an impressive achievement considering that old-timey words were super long and slang hadn’t been invented yet.