Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Death of the eReader!

Finally, I win the argument! All my techie Geeks friends can now bow to my enormously large ego and tell me that "Mrs. Nowc, Librarian at Large, was right as always." Now, normally I do not gloat like this in a public forum. I'm a pretty humble person if I may say so myself. However, after reading an article in MaximumPC (Jan 11), I was validated about my views of the eReader. It seems that the esteemed periodical, MaximumPC has identified twelve pieces of technology that are on the way out. As in will be extinct soon. One of the first pieces of technology to be named by the editors is the Kindle and its ilks. My heart raced, as I began to think that my precious hard copies of books will be spared an untimely death! Excuse me while I get a hankie to dry my tears.

Now I know my techie geek friends are all laughing at me as I get emotional over the topic but hear me out as I try to drown out their chuckles. Let me begin by reminding techies that the eReader can only preform one simple task. Technology is all about convenience and when thinking about an eReader one is reminded of a PDA. Remember those? The Personal Digital Assistant has been replaced by cell phones that can do everything except chew your food for you. With the introduction of the iPad, the ease of having it all in one place is too tempting. As a matter of fact, experts are predicting that the iPad will indeed take over the eReader market.

In every decade there are fads. Pet Rocks, Rubic Cube, PDA, iPods and the list goes continues to the beginning of time. Kindle was lucky enough to come along with a new gadget that struck a cord with consumers. Once other companies started to produce their own version of "Kindle", the "newness" of the technology faded. Sure it cool to be able to say you have your "entire library with you" when you go on trip. Practically, unlike an iPod, where having all your music with you is an advantage, carrying an entire personal library of books is not needed when reading one book. One hard copy of a tome is all this avid reader needs.

The ease of using a print copy of any title will always be appealing. It's like all things that are old and comfortable. Sometimes the simple things are the ones that are hardest to give up. They are also the ones that don't die off quickly. Don't get me wrong, it would be woefully ignorant of me to believe that digital forms of books will disappear off the face of the earth if Amazon and Sony stopped production of eReaders. It just seems to me that technology has a way with creating something one day and the next day there is something better to take it's place.

Now that I've had my "I told you so" moment, I can go back to reading my old worn out copy of Doctor Zhivago. One thing that does concern me is that computers are becoming more compact, faster and hold more data. My worry is that it will also be easier to lose! However, that is a topic for another day.
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