Yesterday, Brad Stone of The New York Times published a piece on their website. This article said that the booksellers were claiming and presenting data which led them to believe that the mainstream invention and release of the eBook is causing people to read more. Here are some of the figures:
“Amazon for example, says that people with Kindles now buy 3.1 times as many books as they did before owning the device. That factor is up from 2.7 in December 2008. So a reader who had previously bought eight books from Amazon would now purchase, on average, 24.8 books, a rise from 21.6 books.”
I am a profound follower of all things technology. I adore to keep up to date with the latest gadgets and reading is another huge factor in my life. But the eBook I am not entirely sure about. For example, I can read a book on a computer, and I suppose I could do with reading a book on an electronic device. But personally, I like to have the book in my hands. I like to be able to feel the thickness of the book, touch the cover, flick through the pages. When I have the books sitting on my shelf I feel total ownership over them. You don’t get this with an eBook. It is much more convenient but I am not sure it will wipe books out for hundreds of years like some people are suggesting. What are we do to? Tear our books apart because their on the machine. And we’re always going to have some form of books anyway: some people won’t discard of them, those who aren’t sure about technology, and those classic originals that will never purposefully be destroyed.
There is a woman in the article who says she lives far away from a bookstore and that the local library doesn’t interest her. I think this is one of the few reasons why people would turn to mainstream eBooks.
But I just don’t understand why this revolution is causing the American people to read more. I didn’t think that a piece of technology would be able to revolutionize something as ancient as reading. I understand that it’s more convenient, and I personally would purchase one so that I can carry books around – but I’d never forget about my hardbacks and paperbacks sitting on the shelf.
It’s still exactly the same content. You are still reading the same story – I would of potentially thought that people would have put their foot down and moved away from the idea of the eBook. I guess I just have a different opinion.
However, at present there are loopholes in the Amazon service, as shown in this quote. I can see this as a huge reason as to why people may be turning to eBooks – there is just too much opportunity for people to dump the market and read books purchased by friends:
But she has actually never paid for an e-book. Exploiting a loophole in Amazon’s system, Ms. Englin has linked her Kindle to the Amazon account of some nearby friends, allowing all of them to read books like “The Lost Symbol” at the same time — while paying for them only once.
“I read much more, I tend to read faster for some reason, and I read a greater variety of things,” said Ms. Englin, adding that this is nearly the same as lending a physical book to friends. “We haven’t really looked closely at Amazon’s terms of service. But I do suspect we are breaking the rules.”
Overall I’m not saying eBooks are a bad idea – and I do enjoy the convenience. But I believe that this type of book targets only a selected audience and many, especially elderly people, will stay with regular books.
Do you like to have the book in your hands? Have you started to read more since the release of the eBook Reader? Is the price of the eBook Reader potentially putting you off purchasing one? Do you own an eBook? Do you enjoy using it?
Let us know what you think, in a comment.