Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Future of Books

Today, Amazon announced that it sold more Kindle titles than actual hard-cover books. They attribute part of this to the fact that the Kindle price was lowered from $259 to $189.

We discussed in my computer science class last semester how digital technology has changed what it means to "own" something. We have documents and spreadsheets saved to our desktops and laptops, but they're really just lines of code. Unless we print out our projects, we can easily save over them (which depending on the case could be a good or bad thing), or simply delete them.
In a similar way, we don't really own e-books. We might be able to carry around a kindle which holds the words of the book, but that doesn't mean we actually own the book. I personally like having a physical version to highlight and scribble notes in. When I finish a book and flip through to see all the marks I made, I feel satisfied in knowing that I was engaged in what I was reading.

I don't mean to say that physical books will disappear anytime soon, (I read in a similar article that this trend applies more to hard-cover than soft-cover books),
but as prices for e-book readers continue to drop down, I'll be interested to see how our society's definition of "book" will change. I would love to hear everyone's opinion on this topic, as the main point of this blog is to discuss these types of topics with each other. Until next time, good night!

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  1. Makes one think!
    There are so many pros and cons to having a "book" or our "new tech" words.
    Save a tree with "new tech".
    Fill landfill with "new tech". The insides of most computers are toxic forever if not disposed of properly.
    Books can be made from recycled paper....
    Possibility to carry a world of information with "new tech".
    Balance it out somehow!
    Good one.

  2. Interesting point, I never thought of how the components of our computers and other technology can hurt our environment. Thanks for bringing it up!!!