THE FUTURE OF BOOKS

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By Ninfa Flores

As we enter to the modern era of technology, everything will just be one touch of a button, but what is going to happen to the future of our books? Are books going to be replaced by the so called portable devices like the Kindle and other e-readers which are lighter, sharper and of better quality? 

It’s been over 15 years since the first e-reader, and over seven years since Kindle was released. So what can we do if we love books and support book reading?

The war between publishing and digital technologies is on, and whether we like it or not e-books are here to stay and will be used mostly by technology geeks. They’ll also receive much love from eco-friendly people as there’s not much in the way of tree cutting – e-readers are saving the environment.  The first book-less library was opened on 13th of September  2013 in San Antonio Texas, where they spent millions of dollars of  taxpayers money to put new technologies in place for people to use.

Most parents still love to see their kids holding a book rather than an electronic device like an iPad or computer or spending hours upon hours playing games or watching a video – then being left with no time for reading at all! Some will still argue that hard-paper books are still a delight to be held rather than the machine that switches off once the battery runs down – we still love to smell and find comfort flicking each page of the book. Ironically some will say that e-books are better, for reasons of privacy (what book are they reading?) and no more heavy books to carry. Many schools have their academic resources online and students can access it instead of bringing heavy materials in their bags.

As the digital world overtakes and the traditional publishing companies start to diminish,  you might ask “so where are we heading?”  Are we heading to a future where most kids don’t have any idea how a book feels nor the fun of reading it?  Or the touching and feeling of picture books that most babies and young children enjoy when their parents are reading to them. It’s sad to think about but we have to accept that we are evolving and soon all of the things that we used to do or love may slowly disappear.

It’s predicted that within 25 years publishing books will come to an end and will be completely replaced by digital publications. Some people will agree that this is a good thing, and some won’t, but when you think about the jobs of the writers and publication companies, they will all be put at risk. Amazon, Google, even Apple will be the biggest publishers in the world in 10 to 15 years, and (as predicted) Google has already announced a plan to compete with Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and Apple back in May 2010 by launching its own e-book store which requires no e-reader and charges no fees.

In conclusion, do you prefer to have hard copy books? Once you’ve bought it, it then belongs to you and you can do whatever you want with it. Or do you prefer to join the digital era and use technologies that rely on charging, credit cards and log-ins? Not to mention, if your device is broken, you may need to re-purchase or re-license it.

We’ll just leave it for you to decide.

Photo Wikipedia: Webysther

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