Sunday, August 11, 2013

On e-reading

Nicholas Carr:

E-books are still taking share from printed books, sales of which declined by 4.7 percent in the quarter, but the anemic growth of the electronic market calls into question the strength of the so-called “digital revolution” in the book business.

The flattening of e-book sales (Rough Type)
Verlyn Klinkenborg:
Reading is inherently ephemeral, but it feels less so when you’re making your way through a physical book, which persists when you’ve finished it. It is a monument to the activity of reading. It makes this imaginary activity entirely substantial. But the quiddity of e-reading is that it effaces itself.

Books to Have and to Hold (The New York Times)
[Thanks to Elaine for the first and to Matt Thomas’s Submitted for Your Perusal for the second.]

comments: 3

Matt Thomas said...


Anonymous said...

Being an old dog willing to learn new tricks, I've a tale to tell. At a conference of top brass and us non-brass with clearances, the question came up about electronic storage and readers in a battlefield environment. A question was addressed to some tip-top finest from a couple of tech firms: money being no object, what device and media could you foresee which would be easy to produce en masse, take a "direct hit" and still be potentially readable in part relatively yet easy to destroy before falling into enemy hands. Heads together by the electronic types came up with this answer: a paperback book.

In the same way, I was sent a request to review a new work available only on Kindle. I answered I don't have Kindle, ergo no review from me. No Twitter account, no Facebook account, no thanks. It seems that print media has gotten a very bad rap from the e-only folks. Sure, news is transitory, but literature is something to come back to many years later, and picking up a well-thumbed book beats trying to gin up your old 5 1/4 floppy disk which only can be read on the old Apple II. Books don't go through new format-it is and if the paper is good enough, they last for generations. How about those first-editions signed by the author? Which author is going to sign your e-reader? "Digital revolution? It's a sales pitch, like everything else. Gimme a book with margins to deface any day. Gimme a signed edition. Gimme an old favored text with my notes from decades ago to re-read. That kindles my fancy! Best wishes.

Ciaran said...

I find that the increasing presence of e-media makes physical media more appealing to me. Physical media seems to carry a lot more emotion. Probably why I prefer real books to e-books, though in regards to music I use vinyl or cds in conjunction with digital copies.