Lex Petros: Books or eBooks

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Books or eBooks

Another milestone in the media world has started to replace traditional book reading. Go to a local Starbucks or just stroll though a mall and you'd bound to see some tech-avid reader nestling an iPad or a Kindle or whatever digital reader or multimedia devices pervading the consumers' world these days.

Textviewers is just another name for a book replacement. I really cannot fathom the sense in spending close to $200=$400 (RM800 to RM1200) for a device to enjoy one of the most basic pleasures in life, reading! Granted, eBooks go for anywhere between $1.99 to $10.99 or more, depending on the product. You can even "bookmark" the pages and write notes on the marginal notes or whatever configuration is designed, but for me, nothing surpasses the tactile feel to wood pulp and the smell of ink on good ol' flippable books.

Try bring your Kindle or Iriver near a pool or into your bath.

Reading in the dark? Backlights and LEDs a good way to do it? Or simply just nesting in a cozy corner in your room with your book, a cup of your favourite beverage and a book. One which you can choose to fall asleep to and NOT risk cracking the LCD screen.

Reading just goes beyond text. It's the feel of the pages as you flip them forward or back and the satisfaction of occupying your self space with rows of paperbacks and hardcovers. You know the illustrations and print on the covers can be a collector's item? Not to mention to presence of colour, form and characters to draw perspective from which the contents derive it's substance from.

Not Eco-friendly to print books? Well, don't drive to work and stop using electricity then. Being immensely naive and altruistic about eco-conservation certainly will not spell the demise of books.

I doubt I'll be prepared to switch over to a textviewer device in the near future. As it is, the job requires my attention to a computer screen almost half the day. I would rather read from paper after a long and tiring day. Besides, I am still entitled to $265 (RM1,000) tax relief for book purchases. I don't think the Malaysian IRB recognize eBooks as a tax relief item in the meantime.

For these simple reasons, I don't believe that Borders or MPH will phase out anytime soon.

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