I have spoken to many people about their reading platform of choice. Many traditionalists prefer paperbacks and even the occasional hardback to eReaders. Reading apps on smartphones? Blasphemy. Hard copies don’t need to be charged. Paper doesn’t need batteries.
eReaders and phone apps can fit in your pocket. Others take up minimal space in your bag. A small device puts whole libraries in the palm of your hand. Who wouldn’t want that? Paperbacks take up shelf space and gather dust. They rip and fade over time. Regardless of what either side says, both have their pros and cons.
I believe that both platforms are interchangeable and can compliment each other. There’s nothing wrong with having paperbacks and eReaders at your disposal. I still carry paperbacks. Holding that book and turning those pages bring me back to my childhood. Its nostalgic, if nothing else. I also have had different eReaders. I have an eReader app on my smartphone. I can appreciate the convenience that eRearders can provide.
The most important thing about the issue, no matter which side you’re on, is to think about the next generation of book readers. We live in wired world. We’re online and becoming more interconnected with technology. I’m just glad that the next generation wants to read in the first place. If they never hold a paperback in their hand? I won’t be sad. I just want the future generations to enjoy a good book on whichever platform they’re familiar with.
Personally, I’m worried about the prospect of reading for fun or reading as a hobby, disappearing. There are too many gaming consoles. Too many apps on tablets. Too many social media pages to scroll. Its so fast paced… Who wants to slow down to read a book? Not when people have to limit their character count when they speak in posts. Or when all you need to know can be skimmed from a click bait article a friend shared on your page.
Have the discussion, but don’t push others away from the hobby. Promote the hobby. It doesn’t matter which form their book comes in; paper or digital, encourage them to keep at it. It’ll be a sad day if people stop reading for fun. Countless universes will wither away and die. We can’t have that. We need the comfort and pleasure that comes from reading a good book.