Why E-books Have Streamed to the Forefront
It seems surprising that the generation that grew up on PAC-Man, and graduated into Mario Brothers, then an entire list of rapidly more sophisticated video games, are suddenly turning their attention to reading, but from the wave of e-book popularity that has suddenly seized the Internet, apparently the game playing has become just another sideline entertainment device.
There really isn’t a substitute for reading. Once a person learns how to “beat” a video game, the challenge is over until the next game is introduced to the market, with new twists, more advanced technology and more difficult skill levels. Even role-playing games limit the user to the definitions of the character being played.
Movies have been rivaling the reading world for years, with only limited success because a movie interprets the book from the view of the director, producer and screen play writer. The viewer becomes a harsh critic. The most devastating opinion of a production is made when viewers proclaim, “the movie wasn’t as good as the book”. Books allow readers to fill in with details from their own imaginations, and to feel the appetites, the drive and the motivations of characters in a manner a movie just can’t deliver.
It’s a highly technical world, however, one in which reading is often confined to a view screen, and books are left to gather dust in a corner. It’s a world where space has become an increasingly more valuable asset, and convenience relies on how much time can be saved. With the Internet rivaling the television as the most common media outlet in the home, it was just a matter of time before technology would shift its attention to how to make book reading a practical electronic device.
Electronic books allow the reader to carry an entire library of favorite books in a pocket-sized tablet. Educational departments find them a valuable tool for encouraging young readers. Libraries rent out e-books as part of their services. Our mobile society, that found reading from a computer too restrictive, and book carrying too awkward in situations like dim lighting, passing your time by reading while waiting for an appointment or simply waiting in line, enjoy the versatility of carrying a slim tablet that will give them both proper lighting and a choice of what they wish to read.
According to a recent Pew eBook survey, 20% of the U.S. is reading electronically, and mostly on iPhones, iPads, Nooks and Kindles.