The chances for the young minds to roam free in the roles of David Copperfield and Oliver Twist, are long gone. The thrills of imagining oneself as the old man struggling to catch a big fish at the sea, in The Old Man and the Sea, have drowned in the noise of text messages and Face book ‘pops’. The literary classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Sherlock Holmes, The Count of Monte Cristo, Les Miserables etc. were once the guiding life lessons to many a generations.
Let us look at why e-books and online publishing have become popular in the modern era. E-books are readily available, easily accessible to a very wide population and has a reach all over the world all at the same time, day or night; a feat probably not achievable by printed books. With e-books, there is no hassle in carrying heavy books around, only a smart phone or a tablet or a dedicated reader is sufficient.
These e-books can be used absolutely anywhere (except for probably not under water) and can be taken literally wherever you go.
Reading e-books is easy as well, users say, and they are happy that with most devices, the font size can be adjusted, brightness can be controlled and has good battery backup since it only handles light operations.
Books on the other hand, are prized possessions, mostly to the older generations. One does not have to worry about someone stealing their book, unlike devices like Kindle that get stolen soon as it is left alone. The pride and joy of finally having a book after searching for a long time, is irreplaceable by any electronic device. No audio book substitutes the reading of classic bedtime stories to children. Nothing beats the nostalgic smell of books, both old and new. Gifting books can never be swapped with downloading new e-books as presents.
The older generation still appreciates printed books, yet is ready to balance between the advancements in publishing and the traditional methods. A generation is in the making that is born into a world that teaches them no values, respect or love. Books used to teach us all things good. Books used to let us create, imagine and explore realms and worlds beyond reality. Books used to be treasured as most precious possessions by those who used to love reading. Although online publishing has gained momentum, printing is very much still alive and will continue to live on for a long time.