“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” Sydney J. Harris
Paperback — nothing beats opening up a brand new book or rummaging through a bookstore. 75.77% (294 votes)
ebooks — you can get new books in a flash and bring multiple reads with you everywhere you go. 24.23% (94 votes)
Total Votes: 388 ( Results of WP Daily Post Poll)
Writing Challenge: Do You Prefer pBooks or eBooks? The written word has had a long and varied history. Whether we look at the earliest scrolls from the 2nd Century AD or the oldest surviving book – the Derveni papyrus from 340 BC, or the modern day ebook first published in 1971, what stands out is that the written word is here to stay. The dilemma is in deciding if we prefer to read pBooks (physical copies) or eBooks (electronic copies). I grew up in a household filled with books. They were a lifeline in a sometimes challenging world, and I passed on the love of books to my kids. I love reading and I love books.
Naturally, the joy many of us derive from reading begins with the hard/soft copy; it speaks to the tactile sensation we get from holding a book, the thrill we feel leafing through the pages, marking where we stopped, smelling it, sharing our books, and/or creating a library of books we plan to donate or give away some day. I have an extensive library of books from around the world, and I still buy physical copies of new, used, and collectible books. But, I am not adverse to eBooks and have some in my collection too. When I checked the WP poll above, 75% of WP readers still preferred reading physical copies… However, I must add that a decent number of WP Bloggers left comments that they liked both and would have appreciated a third poll option which wasn’t provided. So where do you stand on this topic? pBook or ebook?
1971: Project Gutenberg is the first digital library
1990: The web boosts the internet
1993: The Online Books Page is a list of free ebooks
1994: Some publishers get bold and go digital
1995: Amazon.com is the first main online bookstore
1996: There are more and more texts online
1997: Multimedia convergence and employment
1998: Libraries take over the web
1999: Librarians get digital Ebook History by M. Lebert
Do you love the convenience of eBooks, or the texture of paper? When I read the Daily Post prompt, my first thought was “Why choose?” I like both; hence the dilemma. When we consider the history of the pBook and hold it up to the genesis and rapid growth of the eBook, something becomes apparent; the eBook has the potential to become a strong contender as the preferred choice of the future. Why?
For starters, aside from its tactile limitations, it offers a number of conveniences: eBooks save shelf space, we can download hundreds of books on an eReader and travel with ease, we can delete, replace and purchase new eBooks from the comfort of our home, and because there are no physical stores, the pricing is cheaper and time/cost of travel is eliminated. Finally, the ebook has given many people a quick way to become a published author. If you never imagined getting a traditional publishing house contract, the eBook will make your publishing dream come true pretty quickly. So what’s the beef? More below!