A Kindle, Nook or…Book?!

Posted by on Dec 2, 2010 in ComLead

As conversation turns to holiday shopping agendas, discussion about the pros and cons of e-readers is a recurring theme.  I can’t help but be one among the reluctant adopters of this technology.  Although much easier than carrying around the seven books in the Harry Potter series, there are some questions that keep being raised about whether e-readers will replace traditional print media.

When considering the pros and cons of this new(er) technology, the most prominent discourse seems to be how un “book like” e-readers are.  A good book is called a “page-turner”, not a “screen-scroller”. However, there must be something to them.  According to Media Daily News “Where 2.1 million adults owned an e-reader device in March-October 2009, that number has soared to 5.9 million in the same period of 2010.”  This rate of adoption clearly shows that there are advantages such as ergonomic design and the instant access to new reading materials.

This doesn’t mean bye-bye for books. Print copies also seem to still hold a niche for mass distribution.  No, 15 books may not fit into your bag without being downloaded onto an inch-thick Nook, but a library still gives you access to literature for a fraction of the price of digital copies.  If you don’t have technological access from a computer, cell phone or iPad- people from every socioeconomic status still are able to walk through the doors of a library and look on the shelves.

As the debate continues over whether or not the archaic medium of print will become extinct continues, maybe it can be considered that both can coexist and complement the educational and leisurely experience that literature offers.  It seems that consumers seem to expect a win-lose outcome for these two types of media, but it seems like there is a long way to go before the only way to enter a book store is by typing in a URL.

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