Monday, June 20

The Fate of Books

We got into a really interesting conversation the other day about the fate of books.  With the advent of e-books, a lot of people are abandoning the old-school, physical book.  Sort of like what happened to records, tapes, and now CDs through the years.  Thank you very much, iTunes.

Me?  I still like a book.  I'll confess that I'm not a voracious reader and I certainly understand the merits of e-books, especially when it comes to storage and reading while traveling.  But I just like the physical nature of holding a book and flipping through the pages.  It's comforting.  Not so much maybe for fiction, but for decorating, cooking, fashion, and photography -- at least for me.

But many of the people that I was with the other night felt quite the opposite.  They are ready to abandon books.  Get rid of them out of their lives and carry it all on an e-book.  They see books as heavy baggage and I get it, totally.  For those who love them, e-books have changed their lives, allowing them to read as many books as they want where ever they want to.  Even on the beach with no glare :).

So what's your take?  What do you think is the fate of books?  What's your experience?  Jim.


  1. I'm an "old fashion" reader. Holding the book, flipping the pages, highlighting any piece of information or placing a marker is what makes (at least to me) reading an experience. The only time when I consider abandon them is when I'm on a plane, an e-book is so much lighter! and it gives you more reading options. I might jump on the e-book ship soon, but at least on my night stand and kitchen books will keep ruling.

  2. It's interesting Jim that while I do most of my quick reading online, if I'm really going to spend some time with something, consider it, and (importantly) jot down some notes, I want something in print. That means in doing research, I'll create a pdf of all the online articles, print it out, and get going on writing notes. As a result, I too have not made the transition to a e-reader.

  3. I'll stick with books. I find I comprehend things differently on a screen, and I like the tactile sensations of actual books. I have tried e-readers, but haven't been won over.

  4. Reading for me includes highlighting, adding sticky notes, making notes on the pages. Never tried an e-reader and really have no desire to. Also, I agree with Anonymous on the comprehensive aspect and was happy to see someone else but my feelings into words.

  5. Interesting how you all are commenting on how if you really want to engage with the book, you want a physical book rather than an e-reader. Makes total sense. E-readers are a bit distant and much harder to use multi-dimensionally. Jim.