Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Electronic Books



When I was at the Hubbard Library last week I saw an interesting poster on the wall which grabbed my attention. It was concerning the fact that the library offered downloadable books for your I-Phone and other such devices. I didn't ask about it, but I am assuming that the rentals are available through the library like any other book. You would download them through the library and they would expire when the books would normally come due.

Unfortunately, it won't take long before there is some crack for this which will allow people to keep their books from auto-deleting, if there isn't one out there already. I have no tears to shed over what has happened to the music industry concerning the digital revolution. They needed to be taken down a few pegs. However, there is a lot of experienced hackers out there who are veterans who would think nothing of providing hacks for this.

I really don't like this. I hate this whole trend and it is only going to get worse. I understand that libraries need to do something to stay ahead of the curve on this. However and quite unfortunately, quite literally too, the writing is on the wall. When are books going to be obsolete? People say that it will never happen. Yet, look at all the Borders' that are closing. It is starting. Libraries are being forced to metamorphosize. You can get your movies there. You can use the computers. What happens when actual books are no longer produced?

Yes, you can download these electronic stories and read them, but they are not books. What is going to happen when the books that the libraries need to get their hands on simply aren't produced? Will libraries simply evolve into some kind of community center where you can do everything else and maybe borrow this obsolete thing called a book. Perhaps all the books will just be moved into the museums.

Don't get me wrong, I love technology, but I hate e-books. If society just sleepwalks into accepting these as the new thing then it is over. I have a prediction that schools and universities will make a jump to e-books within 5 years. They will cite economics and 'the environment' in their decision to do so. If I am wrong then I will be glad, but I don't think so. Once that happens then the dominoes will start to fall.

I was heartened though at one thing and that is all the debates I saw over this while browsing Youtube today. I am not the only one and while other's have sold out it is nice to know that the fight will go on.

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