The Debate over e- books

I woke up to the news that Pulitzer winner Richard Russo is up in arms against e- books and has refused to allow his latest book ‘Interventions’ to be sold as one. He wants to pay tribute to the printed book, he says but is this a case of holding back when the world has embraced the e- publishing trend with enthusiasm? Of course, a printed book which is physically there in your hands is a great experience but if you are an avid reader you might want to pack in more books to read and you certainly can’t carry the combined weight everywhere. This is just a very logistic approach to why e- books are making the cut but there are other reasons too.

Here are 5 advantages of e- books

  1. Instant access- click and it is there for you to read. Whether you want to read for pleasure or for research, you don’t have to slog and go to the bookshop or wait for your print cop to arrive in the mail.
  2. Portable- they are easier to carry or rather the kindle or i phone, ipad are easier to carry. You don’t have to worry about such a thing as back and shoulder pain.
  3. Carbon footprint- is reduced and you have done one thing- small though it may be to make this world a cleaner, less polluted place. Not bad for your karma.
  4. Better use of time- that is surely a wonderful way of looking at it. More and more people are in front of their smartphones and computer screens, so reading a book makes the time worthwhile.
  5. Hyper-linked- e- books can be hyper-linked to access more related and additional information.

There are many reasons but for me, these reasons are enough to understand the rise of this industry.

Richar Russo (image above) may be giving a tribute to the printed book and he may have his reasons to do so: e- publishing poses a threat to bookstores and the book publishing industry at large and so on. However, we also have to keep up with changing times and the e- publishing trend is a nod to that. Not that we do away with the traditional printed book but no harm in keeping it all balanced.

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