Long passed are the days where reading a book meant picking up a paperback or hardcover, or rather yet, where picking up either one meant a nice strain on the back from the sheer weight of some books. With the ever evolving technology of today’s error has come the eReader.
A device that allows individuals, through a shift from print to digital publishing to read books (known as eBooks) and any other kind of printed material, such as newspapers, travel guides, maps etc on a computer programmed screen.
Now, the first example that may pop into mind is an iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.0 – but no, these are known as a tablet. Yes, they function in a similar way to an eReader, in the manner that you can read off iPads and Galaxy Tab’s, but they also have many other functions (access email, music, take photos/videos and the list goes on) which is what differentiates them from the eReader. Whereas an eReader has one sole function – it stores books. An example of an eReader is Amazon’s Kindle (see video below).
One of the main advantages of this new publishing platform is the use of electronic paper technology to display content (Ebook Reader 2012), which means no glare appears on the eReader screen when in intense sunlight (unlike tablets) – just like a real book.
The differences that such advanced platforms as the iPad and eReaders have made upon society are immense; for one, unlike traditional books, newspapers or any other printed matter these devices allow the reader to change the size of text at the push of a button. This means, for some, no more reading glasses (dependent on the individual). However, what I believe is most impressive about these platforms is the idea of having a bookshop in your bag, because that’s exactly what they allow for.
Both tablets and eReaders give the individual the option to buy and download eBooks; in some cases they are even free! It’s as simple as visiting such online eBook stores as Amazon.com or Apple’s iBook store (just to name a few), flicking through the catalogue and choosing a nice read. Some libraries have even caught onto this and allow eBooks to be borrowed from their library catalogue.
Other enticing elements about eReaders, in particular, is that they are lite and thus ideal for travellers, and frankly the idea of having a collection of all your books, articles and so forth on these devices (eReaders and tablets) for easy accessibility is also impressive.
Furthermore, the 24 hour cycle of an eBook store allows individuals to buy anytime and in any location (as long as you can connect to the internet). This is, however, affecting traditional book stores with more and more people reverting to such devices.
I don’t, however, see books phasing out – there is an authentic feel to touching the pages of a book, writing notes in shorthand through those pages, and adding one to your home library. In addition, many children’s books are designed with interactive pages such as fold outs, touch and feel and more – In which I cannot see the digital realm taking away print publishing from this demographic.
Amazon Kindle (eReader) Apple iPod (Tablet)
Ebook Reader 2012, accessed 3 March 2012, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-book_reader>.