Are e-readers — the Kindle, the Sony, the iPhone — the “books” of the future? Is the future… today?
Margie even wrote about it that night in her diary. On the page headed May 17, 2157, she wrote, “Today, Tommy found a real book!”
It was a very old book. Margie’s grandfather once said that when he was a little boy his grandfather told him that there was a time when all stories were printed on paper.
They turned the pages, which were yellow and crinkly, and it was awfully funny to read words that stood still instead of moving the way they were supposed to — on a screen, you know. And then, when they turned back to the page before, it had the same words on it that it had had when they read it the first time.
– Isaac Asimov
The Fun They Had (1951)
Are traditional books destined to become obsolete?
In Isaac Asimov’s 1951 story, he shares his vision of traditional books being obsolete in the twenty second century. He sees them replaced by electronic books. Will his vision come to fruition? The beginning of the twenty-first century laid out the welcome mat for the e-reader market. They’ve been growing in popularity ever since. Is this a glimpse into the future and the death of books, as we know them?
What is an e-reader?
An e-reader is an electronic, battery powered hand held device used for reading electronic books (e-books). The more popular models have a 6″ screen and weigh about 10 ounces. They can hold a large collection of books at one time. Various sites on the Internet offer a selection of e-books for purchase and download onto e-readers. E-books are also available in other languages besides English.
What do users like about e-readers?
Fans of e-readers like that they are lightweight and small enough to stash into a pocket, purse, or briefcase. They’re easy to use and can become a veritable library of hundreds of books neatly packed into one convenient electronic device. Owners of e-readers claim they are reading more now than ever, especially genres they would never have considered before. They attribute this to the convenience of the device and large selections of e-books available to them.