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Will EBOOKS replace paper books? What are the implications?I was standing in Barnes and...

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sharrons | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 25, 2009 at 6:56 PM via web

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Will EBOOKS replace paper books? What are the implications?

I was standing in Barnes and Nobles today, and I reallized that if books were phased out with ebooks, then there would be no need for Barnes and Noble, and that quite honestly made me sad--even though I LOVE technology and have thought about buying a kindle myself.

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epollock | Valedictorian

Posted June 25, 2009 at 8:20 PM (Answer #2)

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I think paper based books will eventually be phased out.  No one ever said that it would happen to paper newspapers, but look at what is happening to them.  More and more are closing and turning to Internet form. The same thing with books.

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 25, 2009 at 8:22 PM (Answer #3)

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I really, really hope not. The ideas of not being able to hold a physical book while reading, of not being able to arrange them and rearrange them in a book case, of not being able to carry one everywhere (just in case)--too awful to think about! I'm sure ebooks will make some kind of dent in the market, considering the popularity of anything technology-related, but many people (including teenagers) just love owning their own books.

There are some books, too, that wouldn't lend themselves well to the ebook format. What about beautiful books of photography? We can see a collection of color pictures on a screen (even a big screen), but we couldn't put an ebook on the coffee table for easy browsing and a few spare moments of enjoyment. And how do you make brilliant and insightful (!) margin notes in an ebook? Is there a way???? I don't know, and I don't want to find out!

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epollock | Valedictorian

Posted June 25, 2009 at 8:47 PM (Answer #4)

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I really, really hope not. The ideas of not being able to hold a physical book while reading, of not being able to arrange them and rearrange them in a book case, of not being able to carry one everywhere (just in case)--too awful to think about! I'm sure ebooks will make some kind of dent in the market, considering the popularity of anything technology-related, but many people (including teenagers) just love owning their own books.

There are some books, too, that wouldn't lend themselves well to the ebook format. What about beautiful books of photography? We can see a collection of color pictures on a screen (even a big screen), but we couldn't put an ebook on the coffee table for easy browsing and a few spare moments of enjoyment. And how do you make brilliant and insightful (!) margin notes in an ebook? Is there a way???? I don't know, and I don't want to find out!

Ms Hurn, isn't that what people said about newspapers and magazines? All are now readily available for download including many popular photograph based magazines. And with new technology, a computer can enhance the image and make it clearer.

Also, it will reduce bodily wear from carrying pounds of books.  Instead of a heavy book-bag, just carry a portable hand held device with keyboard.

I dond't think people with Kindles are dismayed over the demise of the paper book.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 25, 2009 at 10:17 PM (Answer #5)

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One of the most beautiful rooms in the Biltmore Estate, a French chateau nestled in the valley below the picturesque Smoky Mountains, is the library. This library at the Biltmore mansion is decorated with dark red leather furniture and complimented by leather-bound books housed on shelves of beautiful wood.  Truly, there is no furniture so lovely as books. They bring humanitiy to even an empty room.

For, when people who have read the books on the shelves glance at them, their minds resonate with the memory of the contents of each book and the knowledge that the pages contain the spirit of its author.  At times, it is as though one sees an old friend when one looks upon a book or opens it to reread for the 100th time the loving inscription from those who have left marks upon one's heart.

Should all this tangible experience be now lost? Many a contented moment has been passed traversing the shelves and tables of books in libraries and bookstores. O unhappy day....O barren new artificial world where there is no smell of ink or crinkling of page, or ribbon to mark one's travels in imagination! 

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kc4u | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted June 25, 2009 at 10:25 PM (Answer #6)

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Indeed there is a good chance of paper books getting phased out. But that may not be all a blessing, at least not for me. For me the palpable feel of the pages, the distinguishable smells of new and old books carry a lot of fondness. It must take a good deal of time before the technology is made available to all sections of people all over the world. What will happen to all those bread-earners in the present publishing industry? Mechanisation of the habit/process of reading may cause some health hazards in the long run.

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epollock | Valedictorian

Posted June 25, 2009 at 10:35 PM (Answer #7)

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It might be more of a blessing to not only make ebooks but to make software that can read to people who are illiterate or unable to read for themselves.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted June 25, 2009 at 11:00 PM (Answer #8)

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Most certainly e-books are becoming increasingly popular. The biggest advantage of e-books over the hard copy or printed books is the cost. Once a book is stored in a computer system connected to the Internet, copies of it can be delivered to anyone, anywhere in the world almost instantaneously at negligible cost. As compared to this printing of hard copies involves substantial costs. Also the time taken for printing and delivering the book to individual customers can be very high. Even for the reader of books it is much more convenient to store the book in electronic form rather than as hard copies.

However e-books are not convenient to read. Most of the people, including Bill Gates, find it paper books more convenient to read. Can we imagine a person relaxing on the beach reading an e-boo on the beach as some people do with paper books.

Due to these reasons the likelihood of printed books being completely phased out in, say, next ten years is very remote. Though people are trying to develop systems that will make carrying and reading of e-books with ale the associated equipment for reading much more convenient. So we can expect that in some distant future printed books will be replaced by e-books.

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gra1910 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 26, 2009 at 3:41 AM (Answer #9)

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Indeed ebooks may become more popular & 'convenient'. But the joy of holding a new book,the smell of the leather bound covers, the joy of gifting/receiving a book is something one cannot do with ebooks.It will be like sending hugs & kisses on email than actually hugging, the whole tactile experience is lost.So I personally do not think that ebooks will replace paper books.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 26, 2009 at 4:47 AM (Answer #10)

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How is storage on those Kindles?  What is the cost?  How many books can one actually have on that machine at one time?  If I am going to purchase a book, I want to be able to re-read it at any time or go back to it for quick reference on some aspect that I remember when reading something else or making a connecton in some other way.  How easy is it to do that?  When the mechanical dogs come sniffing around my house to see what books I have, will I be able to pull ALL my ebooks off the shelf on my digital flashdrives so I can run to the woods with my other book-loving buddies, or will they simply erase the whole online database and I'm stuck with a useless machine? 

I am a Barnes and Noble lover, too.  It is human to enjoy congregating in a lovely space, sipping coffee or tea, and pondering all the print materials while the children read or play in the train area.  How sad if it all disappears for convenience.

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dominion | College Teacher | eNoter

Posted June 26, 2009 at 10:28 AM (Answer #11)

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I really hope they don't get rid of printed editions but the truth is that, by the time a book is published, it might end up being outdated. Blogs are the new magazines, Websites are the new newspapers, and domains are the new resumes. Sounds good to me.

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litchick2011 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted June 29, 2009 at 6:06 AM (Answer #12)

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I really, really hope not.  I am, by no means, a literary snob, but as a lover of books, I cannot imagine enjoying books without the touch of the pages.  Also, I have a really hard time reading from a screen.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 29, 2009 at 7:52 AM (Answer #13)

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As with all technological advances, I am not sure the most accurate paradigm is "either/ or."  I hope we are not put in a position where we have to choose between ebooks and traditional books.  Rather, a more healthy and viable alternative would be to ensure that both mediums are present.  Speaking from a teacher's point of view, the reality is that students are assessed through paper and pencil, traditional book assessment.  Standardized state exams and the implications to go with it are still traditional based.  Due to this, students need to be skilled with both mediums.  We cannot sacrifice one at the altar of another.  If we seek to prepare students effectively, we must teach them skills at reading traditional books and ebooks, as both fluencies complement one another, making for stronger and more competitive students.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 1, 2009 at 3:16 PM (Answer #14)

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I hope that ebooks do not take the place of paper books, this thought reminds me of one of the themes that runs through Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  Even though burning books is the main idea that drives the story, the reason that the books were burned was because the society and culture lost interest in the education process, books were useless and then demonized and possession of a book was a criminal offense.

The book details how society abandoned attendance at universities of higher learning and lost interest in reading.  Books then became a enemy of the state, used as a tool to differentiate members of society, which creates inequality which is strictly forbidden.

I hope that books are never lost to our society, it is a personal experience to hold a book, to read privately is a joy that I hope many generations to come will enjoy.

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted July 2, 2009 at 5:11 AM (Answer #15)

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I don't think paper printed books will ever be completely phased out; at least not for many, many generations.  Too many people love the feel of a book.  Even when the younger generations all clutch their kindles and similar devices, there will be people who prefer paper (which never needs recharging or batteries).  We will not live to see kindles take over the printed word, thank goodness.  I doubt even our grandchildren will see the end of paper books.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 18, 2010 at 12:55 PM (Answer #16)

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I do think that we would lose something incredibly valuable as a society if ebooks do replace printed matter. Reading is so much more than simply looking at words, it is a physical thing based on the feel of the book, the smell of the pages and the act of turning them. Books to me are my friends - something I doubt that a computer file could ever become.

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aquinn2 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 19, 2010 at 10:47 AM (Answer #17)

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     Although ebooks will be a huge asset to both literate people and to those who need to gain literacy, I really hope that they do not replace traditional books. It will be good to cut down on the amount of paper that is wasted each year on textbooks and other materials that change and are updated every year or two, but when it comes to quality books, they should not be entirely replaced. It isn't just a matter of how they feel and smell, nor the good feeling of being in a library with large windows surrounded by tall shelves of volumes of books; there are deeper implications. Something could go wrong with the technology. Humanity's viewpoint of books could change to a disposable view. Many volumnes of books could be shut down by a bad government. Books could be banned without our knowldege, or erased in massive numbers. The future generation could change from an era of technology to an era of darkness. If we use these books exclusively for the next 200 years there will be no old books to look back on. If these old books slip away, or if the systems crash we will have two hundred years with no known literature to look back on.

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