Friday, February 27, 2009

The End of Books as We Know Them

Kindle books already available speak to the possibility that in the near future, books as we know them might be a palm away. In a palm-size computer device, thousands of books are available, readily accessible, readily organized, and ready to end the clutter of home and office bookcases.

What do you believe the future of books online will mean for education K-12? We already use the Internet to access information from online databases, limiting our need to find magazine, newspaper, and journal articles on the shelves of libraries, unless libraries are conceived of as virtual spaces and no longer as physical spaces within the school building or the local community.

To learn about Kindle books, which are just the tip of the iceberg, dive into this New York Times article, assuming a password log-in does not lock you out. If it does, do an online search to find out about Kindle books or e-books, or try this link to another New York Times article featured on Feb. 26th, A Walk Through A Crop of Readers

Be sure to post your comments on this controversial topic. Remember that when Guttenberg invented the printing press, people of his time mocked his innovation. Online e-books seem hardly as revolutionary, but are they? Do you think they will be the innovation of the future? Will they end the clutter of personal book collections? Will they mean the end of libraries and bookstores as we know them today? What advantages do e-books offer? What disadvantages? Is the onslaught of technological books inevitable?

Here are the URLs for both the articles referenced in the post.
credit for image: last URL provided above


travis said...

I do think that books will decline in use but will never go the way of the dodo bird. Of course, I don't know this but just having taught students with laptops, some would prefer to read in a book or print. I like both, but for any extended reading I prefer hard copies. I know some people have strong feelings towards books, I am not one of those people. Although I do not think it will happen, I can imagine a day when books are no longer printed. I would be ok with that.

Kim said...

I do believe the onslaught of technological books is inevitable. I also find it hard to imagine at the same time! I have been hearing about e-books for awhile now and definitely think there are some benefits- one being that they don't use up resources like "real" books. I guess it will just be a mind set in getting used to books on an electronic device...

Elsa said...

I think we are definitely headed that way, but I am a strong believer in a hard copy. Even with articles that I download onto my computer, if I am using it in or for class I print it out. I hate the idea of not being able to highlight or take notes on whatever I am reading. Even books I read for pleasure I mark up. Especially with Latin and Greek I want my students to work through the texts themselves, not write out translations, and this includes a lot of writing on the texts themselves. I think it will happen to some degree, but I don't think it will be while before printed books disappear from the market. However, my brother has this sketch pad thing that he hooks up to his laptop and can draw or write on any document or a blank page. So maybe if this tool becomes more standard books will fade out.

Claudine said...

I do not believe that books will go away. I still love and take great pleasure in curling up with a good book on a rainy day. Reading books online is impersonal and lacks meaning. Holding a book in your hands creates a connection with that book because you can feel the texture of each page as well as smell the pages which creates a more meaningful experience. There is also the advantage of being able to keep a copy of a particular book to add to your home library or share with a friend. Besides, reading books online is not environmentally friendly because we are wasting energy. At least, we can recycle books.

Jen said...

Okay I do realize that I am a huge dork when it comes to Kindles. I absolutely love mine and enjoy talking about it. I think Kindles are amazing. They are perfect for the avid reader who is sick of carrying around heavy books. You can buy a book wherever you want and it is so easy to use. While I love my Kindle and would recommend it five times over, I do not think that it's taking over the book industry. Kindles have been around for over a year and they are still a very novel idea. Many people don't know what they are and many do not like the idea. Some just need a book in their hands, others really dislike the idea of reading on a computer (although it is completely different than reading on a computer). And even though I own a Kindle, I still enjoy reading actual books as well. My sister, the original Kindle dork in my family, buys just as many soft-covered books as Kindle books. I think the introduction of the Kindle is simply adding a new way to read, not completely destroying the old way. Do not fear paperback book lovers.

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