Why Technology Can Never Replace Traditional Ways of Reading

By:Liana Fahie
Technological devices have a lot of perks that both a consumer and people in the publishing industry can appreciate. For starters E-books require no shelving, are easy and quick access and very cost efficient. They’re also eco-friendly and have a lower publishing cost than printed books and you can read in the dark when using them. Despite the positives that e-books possess, there’s an undeniable difference when reading actual books.
            While it is seemingly more convenient to download books from a device, it does not have the same feel as reading a book in its physical form.  Physical books are viewed more leisurely than e-books. There is something very intimate about flipping through a book’s pages. With each turn of the page there is a certain level of anticipation that’s built knowing that you hold the entire story in your hand and visually unraveling it piece by piece.
            On techgazing.com a ground of people with in various fields (IT Consultants ,CEOs, Engineers, Administrators , Freelance writers)were asked if they enjoyed reading e-books. Most people that responded stated that they preferred books in their actual form to e-books. However, they didn’t discredit the value of e-books. Many stated that each form were effective in different environments. A common statement made was that e-books made them think of work and were more effective in finding research or work related topics.
Another theory is that reading books brings sentimental memories back. Books are also associated with a sense of culture. Granted not everyone enjoys reading books but for some a good book can be a connection to one’s childhood or past. It’s not uncommon for a child to have a story read to them before they sleep at night or for group reading sessions in classes. Books have more staying power than technological devices do because technological devices are always changing. A book has a more solid identifiable symbol. Who knows what kindles or ipads will look like 20 years from now or if they’ll even still exist.
            In addition, something about cracking open a book is just “appealing to the senses.”  Many people state that touching and smelling the pages of a book are just part of the experience of reading. Writer Nate Anderson at Arstechnia.com makes an interesting comparison between the change of music from CDs to digital files and the change of physical books to ebooks. With the loss of CD covers and the various little writings that come with those that it didn’t affect the fact that the music was the same. However reading books verses ebooks there is a sensory process in which one turns the pages and is accustomed to the rustle that it makes.  Smellofbooks.com has made a joke out of the increase in ebooks while acknowledging part of the issue that readers have with ebooks. The website is a fake business out of which they sell aerosol cans that presumably smell like books.
            Each experience of reading is very different to each individual but there seems to be somewhat of a divide between ebook readers and book readers. While the ebook industry is growing there will always be a need for the hard copy of a book. Technology always malfunctions and sometimes even deletes materials stored on it. However a hard copy book can always be counted on.

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