As a reader and a publisher, I thought for the longest time that the e-book revolution would take over my life so that I was only using a reader on a tablet to read. I thought I wouldn’t ever have to consider where to buy my next bookshelf or where books could be stored, but it turns out that while e-books have transformed the act of reading, they haven’t changed readers.
The advantages of e-books are clear. E-books are immediate. Sitting at home in Pakistan, I can read an intriguing review of a book, one not yet in stores here, and with the click of a button be reading that book in an instant. E-books are also incorporeal. While traveling, which I do frequently, I can bring along several volumes, weightless and indeed without volume, thereby enabling me to pack only a carry-on bag.
And yet the experience of reading e-books is not always satisfactory.
We don’t know whether the rising generation who has been exposed to tablets and mobile devices that are mini computers will feel the same way as consumers today. We don’t know if in this New Year there will be a device that suddens makes the e-reading experience so different and so unique that readers are indeed changed, but what we do know is that for now, readers still like the tactile experience of reading and getting lost in book without any options to share their reading experience in the world of social media or the other connected options that e-reading offers.
So, what about you? Do you like to curl up with your tablet on a rainy night or is there something about holding a book that makes the reading experience feel like a get away?