Are Books Dead?

Not literally dead. That would be some achievement seeing as the book was never living in the first place (unless you count that the paper the book was printed on was once a tree, a living tree, killed to make paper – then yeah, I guess that would count, but I digress…). I am talking about whether there is still place in today’s world for the common paper/hard back piece of literature or text. With the increase onslaught of e-books, e-reader, audiobooks and downloads – moving towards a new digital format does so at the expense of the book.

Audiobooks and downloads are a good way of listening to stories and books, one which I favour as it gives me more freedom to listen to a book and is much lighter and easier than carrying around a book or two with you, plus I like the way the story is being told to you, like bedtime stories ha. However, the reading of the book can sometimes hamper your enjoyment and imagination of the book. For example, a recent audiobook I was listening to saw the reader attempt to mimic an Irish man’s accent – this was embarrassing to say the least. It was a heavy Irish accent, too Irish to be Irish if that makes any sense, and another audiobook, the female reader’s male voice was her normal voice but whinier (I don’t know whether that is to suggest anything). Whilst if the story is good, one can usually work past this, but when you are given the text as it is, you are able to form your own impressions about the plot and its characters, and its voices.

E-books and e-readers are becoming more and more popular in this day and age. E-books can be easily downloaded onto your computer for free or for a cheap price and then transported to your E-reader, the Kindle being one of the more popular ones. This format has many advantages – easy to transport rather than carrying many books around with you, easy, and it suits the technological age that we live in. However, I still think that it is an over-reliance on technology – there is something soulless about reading a book of a slab, rather than seeing the book in its full glory. And the fact that the E-readers run on rechargeable batteries suggests that you can’t read as much as you like. Say you were on holiday with your e-reader, which ran out of power and you had no recharger cable – then you couldn’t read any more books. The book as it is stands for a popular object that can be used for entertainment at all times.

The digital format is still not without its advantages, don’t get me wrong, but I think it is wrong to stifle the book as it is. People still love a good old book, and I’m talking about a real book, not an e-book.


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