It appears that people are mourning the loss of physical objects like CDs, DVDs and now, books. All have progressed to the digital realm where price and convenience favor the consumer.
People our not only mourning, but some are resisting this move to digital. I’ve written many posts about all the superficial reasons why people cling to physical books as if they are some holy relic.
In a recent article on Fox News, the author laments about how all our stuff is disappearing. For ebooks specifically, he says:
Once considered a necessity for every educated citizen, vast personal libraries filled with important tomes may soon be extinct. People aren’t buying or collecting books anymore, they’re downloading ebooks. Amazon is already selling more ebooks than paper books, and once leading book retailers, like Borders, are in bankruptcy.
Even those halls of somber, studious silence — libraries — are giving up their stuff and going digital by lending books in electronic form. You don’t have to visit them during library hours to borrow stuff either. Just type it up online.
It’s called changing with the times. People are not reading any less with ebooks (I know I’ve been reading a lot more since I made the switch to ebooks). Having a large personal library is about satisfying the ego. And the author’s assertion that people aren’t “buying or collecting books anymore” is just plain false. People are buying books; they’re buying ebooks.
In fairness, the article’s author is no technophobe. He has a nice collection of digital gear:
While trying to board a recent flight, I was yanked out of the airport security line after the X-ray operator got a load of all my stuff: I had two digital cameras, a handful of smartphones, an e-reader, a couple of compact camcorders, a tablet computer, a laptop, several headsets, and a rat’s nest of power adapters, USB cables, and chargers.
He ends the article on a bit of a philosophical note that does acknowledge that technology is not ruining anything, including all of our stuff; we’re just trading it in for new stuff.
Okay so maybe ebooks aren’t ruining the world. But you would think they are. As I said at the beginning of this post people are mourning the downfall of print books. Right now, people are in the denial stage of mourning. It might be years before we finally see acceptance. But it’s coming slowly. One day we’ll look back and wonder what all the fuss was about.