Friday, January 11, 2008


For this weeks last post we decided to llok at eBooks and eBook readers. I think that by now we understand Laura Pappano’s view on items such as these and we can all assume that she would not agree with such a product like this. She would probably say that with electronic readers we would be missing out on the use of actual print as well as missing out on the experience of traveling to the library etc… I have to say that if this is the argument for eBooks then it is a pretty poor argument. To me the benefits of such an item far outway that of the social cost. The space that such a little gadget as this would save alone is worth the cost. I mean imagine being able to fit a whole library on this reader. Or imagine going to the library and instead of going all the way to the third floor, to the west wing, and trying to find a book using the Dewey Decimal System you could simply scroll and find the book you’re looking for. I mean no slight to you Dewey or your decimal system but I would prefer the scroll and find method.

I think a large part of what Pappano doesn’t get is that the reason she is able to even speak or write about these ideas that she is having is because she feels that the small things have been taken away. I have to say the only time one appreciates the small things are when those things are absent or taken away. But under normal circumstances people don’t even appreciate the small things when they are present. The point that I am making is that unless we can somehow make people appreciate what it is to go the library and go to the third floor, west wing, and fourth book on the third shelf then nobody is going to really care if that task is eliminated. It might just be me but I ask you when the last was that you stopped and said to yourself “Geez, I really appreciate going to the library and spending 15 minutes looking for a book.” I could be wrong and there may be those type of people in the world and I would say to those people that you should read “The Connection Gap” because that book was made for you.

To get back to eBooks I don’t see any social impacts positive or negative to the product. I’m not going to go as far as my friend Brian went by saying that books would become obsolete. I think maybe there might be a time when books become vintage kind of like Vinyl Records but even then that would just be a small majority of the world. We have to remember that the majority of the world’s population don’t have computers let alone afford a $400 piece of electronic equipment like this. I guess that I just have doubt in this particular type of media. I think that it has great potential but I just don’t see it becoming the new “book,” I guess time will tell.

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