I have to rave uncontrollably about my Kindle, the e-book created by Amazon. I am in love with the electronic reader, to the point where, if someone were to come mug me in an alleyway I’d MOST likely give up my Fendi bag before the Kindle. Yes, I am a nut but all of us “e-book reader fans” are.
My mom originally got one because of her avid reading habits — she realized she collected WALLS AND WALLS of books over the course of a year and for the most part never re-read them. Those “staple” “canonical” books she wished to keep in her collection, she’d buy in hardback — very simple. She told me to purchase one for my upcoming semester at BU — seeing as that I have a rather severe case of Scoliosis she thought it would alleviate some of my back problems. Low and behold, it really did. I also gained one more significant bonus from the Kindle — the accessibility of reading 2 up to 3 newspapers a day electronically. While the process of syncing is a bit slow to follow the advanced reader, my papers (Wall Street Journal and New York Times) are delivered to me every morning — I am one of THE MOST up to date current events connoisseurs on campus, I assure you.
The debate, however, lies in the print versus digital topic. One of the largest publishing houses this week announced new software that allows for Professors in universities nationwide to ‘alter’ and modify textbooks for courses. The idea stems from the popularity of Wikipedia — where people are collectively able to create biographies and recount stories.
Situations such as this have prompted many magazines to launch ‘SAVE THE PRINT’ campaigns — some of which will be launched this month. They feel both in regards to magazines and to books it is crucial to keep purchasing printed materials — the fleeting nature of electronics shouldn’t triumph over the printed.
My stance is somewhere in the middle of this debate. I think there is an URGENCY to cut back on the annual amount of paper being used, but I also think there is a sense of tradition and eloquence to the written and printed word. Some books that I have purchased on my Kindle, such as Homer’s The Odyssey, just cannot be read digitally — it takes away the entire nature of the book and the myth. Newspapers, however, are extremely troublesome in their size making it a MUCH BETTER option on an electronic reader.
I think that publishers and writers shouldn’t abandon the printed world entirely, but at the same time, I think there needs to be a common ground — perhaps, newspapers/magazines/books will one day be balanced popularity in the digital world as well as the printed world.