Today the Wall Street Journal had an article about electronic books and now textbooks being offered electronically on iPod’s and iPhone’s. My first thought was “Wow, what a great tool!” How fantastic it will be for students to work on homework literally anywhere you can have your iPhone. College graduates will enter the working world with better posture now that all their textbooks combined will weigh less than one pound. And, now with the technology of the Kindle e-reader you can travel the world with multiple books without the hassle of actually having to pack them. But, the article got me thinking: will this tool, be used as just that, a tool, or will e-books become our future?
I am a huge proponent of the electronic age; I don’t leave home without my iPhone (and when I do, its like I have left my right arm behind), I text, twitter and blog. But, the thought of phasing out books feels like a crime. What will happen to the textbooks filled with highlighted key points and scribbles in the margins? The Kindle e-reader not only allows you to read books, but also newspapers. I get a soothing feeling from reading a physical newspaper and turning the pages, and maybe getting a little ink on my hands. I like reading books and folding down the corners of the page. And yes, the Kindle does allow you to highlight, write in the margins and bookmark a page, but it just isn’t the real deal. As I came to the end of the article, I felt sad at the thought that this could be the foreshadowing of another piece of the analog world becoming obsolete.