The Internet basically killed the music industry.
Digital recording has overtaken conventional cameras that used to record everything on films.
Now it seems it’s the humble book’s turn.
In the US, ebook sales are going to overtake the sales of conventional books in 2017. And as the Internet finds more users, it is going to be extremely easy to just get ebooks rather than buy books from stores.
All the evidence is out there that suggests that the future belongs to ebooks. But can ebook replicate the feelings that books give?
1. Books give a personal feeling when we pass on the book to a friend, family or loved one.
When you give your book to someone, you are placing a lot of trust in them also. And in a way you are giving a part of yourself to them.
How can this act be ever compared to transferring an epub file from one device to another?
2. A book feels real, tangible and hence you can attach feelings to it.
Each book in your collection has a feeling associated to it – the day you read it, the mood you read it in, how it helped you get over sadness.
3. The feeling of going into a library to go through books and meeting people who are as enthusiastic about books as you are
There were times when we finished entire books sitting in a library or a bookstore. We made a lot of friends who loved books as much as we did. It’s just not the same with swiping right to see books and reading limited samples on a tablet.
It’s just not the same with swiping right to see books and reading limited samples on a tablet.
4. Somehow doing the act of looking for a dictionary and physically searching for the word made the meaning stuck better than just long-pressing on the word on an ebook reader
Yes, the inbuilt dictionary in ebook readers is the best thing about them. You get the meaning in such a short time.
But that’s where it falls short. The meaning evaporates as soon as you turn off the tablet. When we actually looked in a dictionary we somehow recalled the meaning of the word better. This is anecdotal but seems to be true.
5. Books are so much easier to scan and skim. You can just flip through 100 pages to approximately land on the line you were looking for
How many times have we taken a book we have already read from the shelves and skimmed through the pages? A book is like a city, and we know the city by its roads and we get familiar with every nook and corner.
The same cannot be said about an ebook.
6. ebook don’t smell half as good as pages of a book.
They don’t smell at all. Whereas old books and new – smell good to a reader.
7. Scribbling your name and random words on the book that made it yours. It is fascinating to find names in second-hand books too.
It’s fascinating to find a person’s name and date of purchase when you get a second-hand book. You wonder if the book evoked the same feelings in the previous owner too.
Writing your name also signifies that you read the book. You cannot do that on an ebook.
8. You feel like a patron when you pick up a book written by your favorite author
Writers depend on their regular readers for their bread and butter. You feel a connection to them when you buy their book. Yes, the same could be said of an ebook too, but a book is still tangible.
9. And in turn, when you take a physical autograph of your favorite writer, it makes books priceless.
It’s another experience to get a book signed by the writer who wrote it. To stand in line and exchange a few pleasantries and then admire the signature for years on the first page of the book.
Sadly, digital forms of signatures on ebook pages do not evoke the same feeling.
Ebooks will never feel the same. Books are tangible and real. Ebooks are just bits and bytes that can be deleted at a push of the button. And then there’s this observation by one of the greatest writers of all time –
“If you drop a book into the toilet you can fish it out and read it again. If you drop your kindle in the toilet, you are done!” – Stephen King