Thursday, May 20, 2010

a question of access

I have a bunch of articles and podcasts and snippets saved in one of my bookmarks folder. I've been doing a bit of revisiting and weeding out in these parts.

I came across this bit again, from the end of last year -- "How E-Books Will Change Reading and Writing." I didn't listen to the audio (I'm listening to music and I don't want to turn it off), but I read what was written. I've also gone through four pages of the comments (starting with the oldest and working toward the most recent) and I've only seen one person, a librarian, even mention that not everyone has access to the technology needed to rely on e-books instead of book-books (regular books? real books?). I think about this a lot. I've been fortunate enough to have access to computers and the internet from home since high school. However, I know that there are people who still don't have this. It's easy to forget, I'm sure, if you have constant access to these technologies through computers, cell phones, and whatnot. (I am well aware that I've just proven how lacking my vocabulary and understanding of digital technology is.)

One of the commenters mentioned the prohibitive prices of the early printed books (even though they might have been more affordable than those painstakingly copied out by monks) and I like this comparison. I believe books will be here for quite a while still. It'll be a while before there is widespread access to and low enough costs of e-readers for them to replace books.

I think it's funny, or sad, that we can so easily forget that not everyone is as privileged as we are, in whatever way we are privileged.

For the record: I love, love, love books. Actual, physical books. Based on what others have said, I see the potential good in what e-readers have to offer. Had I a Kindle or the like, I might love that also.

[Thanks for letting me spout on and on (as if you had a choice). It's late and I'm feeling under the weather -- both of which mean I shouldn't try to be coherent, but here I was anyhow.]


Kat said...

I also think we talk about how these techonologies are becoming cheaper and cheaper without thinking through the way we live our real lives. If I spill coffee on my book and I ruin it, I ruin one book. No matter who expensive or cheap the book-- it's jut one. If I spill coffee, or drop my Kindle, or leave it on the subway etc. I am out a LOT of money.

v said...

I was thinking about this *exact* same thing! I shudder just thinking about ruining even one book, but to lose an entire library in one go would come close to devastating me.

And, what about glitches?

For now, I'll stick to buying used books and checking books out from the library, because I can afford those options.

Also? It's easier for me to share books with Pic if it's an actual book. I just realized that I haven't heard anything about pictures books in relation to e-readers. What about pop-up books? I'm imagining holograms. :)