I just got my very own Kindle Paperwhite! Thank you, Amazon! It probably just surpassed my 3Ds as my favorite handheld device. I figured I should purchase such a gadget one day after an English class in which, in the few minutes between the quiz and the end of the period, we had a discussion on the subject of e-books. One thing that I found interesting in the class discussion was that my English teacher did, in fact, not like e-readers. I have heard this argument a number of times: real books are better than e-books. While I can’t disagree that it is always nice to be able to hold the physical copy in your hand, because of the smell and feeling of the paper, I do believe that there’s nothing not to like about e-readers.
I figure, whatever encourages people to read, that’s good! With all the vapid crap on TV and in the movies today (and I must admit that this is the problem in some books, but to a lesser extent), it is nice that people are turning to the written word, and if it’s an electronic medium that draws them, what difference does that make? In fact, according to a recent Forbes article by Jeremy Greenfield, more Americans than ever are reading e-books. “Some 28% of U.S. adults have read an e-book in the past year, up from 23% a year ago.” and “two-thirds of children aged 2-13 are reading e-books [up from] 54%.” Some people might argue, though, that while the popularity of reading e-books is going up, that of reading physical books is down by the same amount. For instance, Amazon announced in 2010 that the sale of e-books had surpassed the sale of paperback books. This notion, however, is not the case. According to a Pew poll, 69% of adults are reading printed books this year, up from 65% last year. And if I may cite myself as evidence to back this up, I would like to add that I have probably purchased more print books as a direct result of my Kindle. This year reading has just become overall more popular. It’s very easy to discover new books using the platform it does, that is, bringing the bookstore to you. Since getting it, within less then a month I have read 10 sic-fi novels (a genre that I have only got into through my Kindle), a Bitcoin buying, selling, and investment guide, and copies of both Reason and Philosophy Now magazines, as well as a daily subscription to the New York Times. Through my e-reader, I have become interested in new works, and have went on to buy the actual books in the actual bookstore. By reading my Kindle, I became interested in Leo Tolstoy, which is why just yesterday I purchased my own printed copy of War and Peace.
The e-book market will not kill the printed books market, as many believe. Rather, they will grow together, as a result of one another.