There is no use in denying that digital media is the way of the future. Even over the last ten years, think how far technology has come! The rapid advancements in technology have led to some concern about the fate of older ways. A question that has occurred to me is, will hand-held electronic devices some day replace books?
I remember the first time I saw an advertisement for the Amazon Kindle. Oh great, I thought, technology is taking over books now too! Yet I don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t think that digital media strives to replace paper books, nor do I believe it ever could replace paper books. This article, about a Scholastic study, agrees.
“Kids age 5-17 believe technology will supplement – not replace – book reading and say they will always want to read books printed on paper” states the article. I believe this is because the experiences are so different. Certainly a hand-held device (like the iPhone or Kindle) is more convenient in many ways. It is small, light, and can hold many more books than it will ever be comfortable to carry in paper. For on-the-go, a hand-held device is perfect.
But if you are sitting at home, relaxing, a book seems much more suitable. Additionally, there is the sentimentality of lending a book to friends, or writing notes in the margins and underlining text. I am sure that hand-held devices have a feature for marking text, but there is something different and irreplaceable about physically marking a physical page.
The article also suggests that digital media can complement physical books by extending “the reading experience – by going to book or author websites or connecting with other readers.” I have found this to be true. I have often visited my favorite author’s (Jennifer Crusie) webpage. I like reading her articles and learning more about her books. Digital media can, therefore, complement the reading in general.
I no longer feel concerned that digital media will replace paper books. Thoughts?