Reading Is Reading So Why Should It Be

Fahrenheit 451 e-book on the Kindle - photo by unten44

…some of us treat e-books with hostility

Radio didn’t kill newspapers, TV didn’t kill radio, and so it follows that e-books won’t kill paper books. When new technologies are created it doesn’t always mean an old technology is doomed to extinction. In our electronic world we tend to forget that the paper book is a technology. The paper book is just one of many mediums that exist for human communication.

So is it the medium you love or is it the content?

I embrace e-books because I like the idea of having as much information and content at my fingertips wherever I am and at any time. That one can carry a smart phone or e-book reader and have instant access to any book is an ideal situation for those craving knowledge. I do not understand the hostility, by some, towards e-books as if the existence of e-books means we face a dystopian future like the one depicted in Fahrenheit 451 – which by the way is available as an audio book and as an e-book. Oh the irony of Ray Bradbury’s classic being read on the screen of a device called “Kindle”. But that is simply an amusing observation and void of greater meaning. It does not paint a picture of a world where paper books no longer exist. Instead, I think anyone who loves books for the content and would like to see people read more should embrace any medium that fosters this notion.

I like reading books on the Kindle and I also like reading good old-fashioned paperbacks and hard covers. Reading is reading. The purpose of any medium is to efficiently package and deliver content and every medium has its pros and cons. E-Books aren’t necessary better or worse than physical books, it’s simply a different method for delivering the same content. This is why we should embrace books in any form and drop the hostility towards new technology. This hostility exists not because it threatens what we cherish, but instead it exists because we fear change and the unknown. And yes, this statement extends well beyond the scope of books but I’ll save that for another article.

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Technology

#books#communication#dystopian#e-book#Fahrenheit 451#kindle#medium#Ray Bradbury#technology

  • I love e-books! The convenience of having a book in this compact form is wonderful and does not diminish ‘reading’ at all. If anything, it makes it possible to read comfortably when riding as a passenger on a long trip, in a coffee shop or dozens of other venues. Ray Bradbury would be proud!

    • Funny enough (although not totally unexpected) Ray Bradbury could be a target of my article as he opposed putting his works in e-book form. But when the rights were up for renegotiation in the past year he finally relented and allowed Fahrenheit 451 to be made available as an e-book. I must admit I didn’t even know he was still alive until I did a little searching before writing this article. He’s 91 and had been regularly attending science fiction conventions until only two years ago.