The past few days have been interesting on the ACFW loop. People have been talking about eBooks – whether or not they like them, will they replace books, etc. I haven’t read a lot of the comments because I’ve basically made up my mind already: eBooks are the way of the future. We need to embrace them.
Here are a few things to consider:
– 20 years ago computers were only for the rich and geeky; today many homes have more than one. Right now a Sony Digital Reader (SDR) is pricey and that keeps people from buying them; I’m sure computer owners once felt that way, too.
– In college I spend about $2,000 on books; a lot of my friends spent twice that much. Can you imagine how much money people will save if they have to spen $200 once, and then can download books for $10-20 when they used to be $150?!
– VCRs brought movies into our homes; DVD players made it easier; BluRay makes it as vivid as the theater. And we still have movie theaters; plus we have On-Demand movies, but there are still DVDs. On-Demand didn’t replace DVDs and DVDs didn’t replace the theater.
– The US is a very wealthy country. Even if a SDR appears in every home, that doesn’t mean books can stop existing…people in other countries will still want/need a way to read.
– The world is going digital. Fighting it and/or denying it won’t change things. We can refuse to recognize the trend, but it’s happening. They’ve already stopped teaching cursive writing in some schools; it’s more important for the kids to learn keyboarding and computer basics. It WILL happen.
Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE books. I have no desire to give up my books, but I also won’t be snubbing the eBooks/SDR. I’m sure I’ll be one of those lil’ old ladies (or big ol’ ladies, in 5’10” case) who reaches for my paperback when my kids and grandkids pull out the Kindle.
But that’s no different than my mom typing on the typewriter after we got a computer. She still has that typewriter, in fact, but it doesn’t get used much. She embraced the computer. She loves it now. But the typewriter was her beginning, so she keeps it.
I surely don’t want to see books disappear entirely, but I’m not going to ignore the digital world either. I think this is pretty much like all other areas of life – there’s got to be a balance. I’m confident we’ll find it.