Hi! I'm Tanner.

I'm a software engineer at Apple. I write here occassionally.

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Books versus E-Books

In todayʼs digital world we are surrounded by thousand of modern, technological devices. Almost every single person we meet in our day-to-day lives has an MP3 player, a smart phone, and a laptop computer. Despite being so technologically advanced, we as the human race still use one “analog” medium of communication and entertainment daily - hard copy, printed writing. Our society is moving from the age of the printed book and the printing press to the age of digital print. By viewing the entire Newsweek infographic image from the point above, one can view several of the analytical arguments between reading an actual book versus an ebook. Every print medium we interact with in our daily lives is in someway moving towards the digital lifestyle. Newspaper subscribers are decreasing as time moves on. People are finding it easier and cheaper to read their news online and from other sources. Academic books are shifting towards the electronic print industry as schools and students are having a harder and harder time justifying spending hundreds of dollars on one book for one class. It is becoming more and more obvious to choose a digital book rather than a physical paper book. Not only is our format to read literature changing, but the format of our social aspects when reading a physical versus a digital book is changing. An example of this is when someone is reading a book on a train or on an airplane. Often times someone will notice the name of the book by glancing at the front cover of the book and begin to start conversation on how they like the author or if they agree or like the topic of the book. When reading a digital book on a Kindle for example, the back displays no properties on what book you are currently reading thereby leaving you alone, not talking to your fellow passengers. We as humans in the 21st century want everything to be faster. eBooks are conveying our desire to get things in an instant rather than having to wait for it. No longer do we really want to walk or drive to the nearest library to do research or look for a specific book that you are interested in reading. Why should we? Weʼve got all the books in the world available online at say for example, Google Book Search. And yet as we thirst for this quick resource, we miss on how digital books can fall. For physical books that are converted to digital text, misunderstood character recognition, and wrong meta data is a common mishap that one author examined in Googleʼs library. Dates of publication could be wrong, titles could be linked to the wrong book, and other disastrous occurrences could turn the utopia world of digital books upside down into a useless digital stack of paper. Do you think that the human race will get to a point where the concept of physical books no longer exists except in stories which we read on our laptops and mobile devices?

What would you prefer eBook or a hard copy?

Would you prefer to read a hard copy of a newspaper or read the news online?

Would you prefer to read a hard copy of a magazine or look at gossip/news online?

What are different benefits to the eBooks verses written books?

Do you feel eBooks are detrimental to society in any way?

Do you think the hard copy book will be extinct in the future? Why or why not?

How has online reading material changed the social aspect of books?