With the human race ever evolving so is our way of doing things. When man first started writing he took chalk to the wall of caves. From there we've moved on to paper, but we did not stop there. The way of spreading the written word has evolved beyond what any prehistoric man could dream. From chalk, to the pencil, to the printing press, to the typewriter, and now to the modern computer. We have surely come a long way and with these leaps we have moved forward with the way we entertain, horrify, and thrill the modern reader. Since technology has made it so easy for use in developed countries to have access to books are we going to evolve pass the traditional book? Will we no longer need to feel paper under our finger tips with the introduction of the eBook?
Paper or Plastic
Not everyone has a computer, Ipad or an ebook reader (Nook, Kindle, Kobo). So is it safe to say that the traditional paper books that we've grown up with are not endanger? I think not! I say this because nowadays you are able to get ebook readers for a very reasonable price. For instance you can acquire a Kindle for $79.00, and your able to by digital versions of the books you want to read for a much lower price. So there is no walking to the car, no driving to the book store (if you can find one nowadays), or hoping that they have the book you want in stock. Ebook readers give people a form of instance gratification. They are able to pay for their book and download it right away and start reading with out all the hassle of leaving their house.
Most people I believe would rather have an ebook reader, with the price of gas as high as it is going out and buying a physical book seemingly out weighs the cost of the book. Also there is less clutter around ones house, since you are able to store a large amount of books on your ebook reader. When asked this question (Do you prefer paper books or ebooks?), all the people that took the poll said that they loved paper books, but they had no room for them so they prefer the ebooks. But at the same time there are a couple of problems with the whole ebook reader. Unless your single and live by yourself you have to figure that someone will want to borrow the book your reading. With an ebook reader that is virtually impossible, unless your willing to lend your ebook reader to someone else.
Some companies such as Amazon gives you the ability to lend the ebooks that you own on your kindle or whatever device you have your ebook stored for a short period of time. Mind you during this lending period you are unable to read the book yourself. But if you are a large family and you aren't able to buy everyone an ebook reader, nor do you have more than one computer the traditional book would seem to be the way to go.
Traditional paper books to me are a staple in human life. Even though we've invented the computer and these ebook readers, people still love feeling paper on their finger tips. I don't believe that we can really ever leave the physical book behind. I say this because in less industries countries, where access to computers are limited to the middle class or the upper class, the physical book is the only source of knowledge and entertainment. We will also have the physical book because most school don't have the budget like some to provide their students with ipads or personal computers to use at home. So text books will always be made readily available in the paper version.
Another reason that the paper book will always be available is that the production of traditional books keep a lot of people employed. From the writers to the publishers, to the printers, bookstore owners, to the loggers who cut the trees that are needed to produce the books the business of producing textbooks is a very lucrative one. In Texas a lone $600 Million is spent on the purchase of textbooks, with numbers like those the sale of physical books will forever keep the book selling industry alive. Also another reason for that is that most textbooks are not available in ebook form. If these books that are used by most school were available in ebook form publishers would stand to lose a lot of money world wide.
Even though people nowadays are more environmental concious and are aware that to make all thees copies of these books, we need to cut down more and more trees, the physical book will survive. In an article by Paul Biba Ebooks Saves Millions of Trees, published in 2009 he layed out these figures given by Michael Pastore who stated:
In just over three years (the 37 months from July 4, 2006 to August 4, 2009) more than 200 million free ebooks were downloaded from two websites: Project Gutenberg (PG), and the World Public Library’s annual event, the World eBook Fair (WEF).
Had these 200 million books been made made of paper, how many trees would have been saved?
Let’s do some math. In the USA in one year, 2 billion books are produced. To get the paper for these books requires consuming 32 million trees. We can estimate that one tree yields enough paper for 62.5 books. (Of course, these numbers vary depending on which expert you choose to believe.)
The 200 million free ebooks downloaded from Project Gutenberg and the WEF saved three million and two hundred thousand (3,200,000) trees.
This number (200 million free ebooks downloaded) is from two free ebook sources only; there are many other sources of free ebooks, including Google Books, the Internet Archive, Feedbooks, Manybooks, Scribd, and many more.
This information is from 2009, considering that we have made much more advancements in ebook technology the ebook reader has save more than the 32 million trees that were save in 2009. So moving towards ebooks seem like a very great idea. Not only does this save 32 million plus trees, but you also have to consider that with saving these trees you are ultimately saving trees that can possible cure diseases and advance scientific research. The ebook reader saving so many trees also saves the habitat of many animals that would be displaced or run the possibility of going extinct.
So in the end the decision is yours. Its all up to what you would prefer as a reader. Do you like the feel of a book in your hands? Do you like the smell of the ink on the paper? Then you like the traditional paper books. I myself have more books in my home than I have room for so moving towards ebooks is a logical choice.
For those that don't have the time, nor the money to buy a physical book, nor do you have the room to store all of them, then the ebook is for you. Your able to download a lot of new and interesting books. The introduction of self publishing means that there are a lot of books out there for less than a dollar. Buying an ebook also saves a tree or two.
So which one would you go for?