Any avid reader would tell you that the pleasure of reading from a book is far more than reading on an electronic device. The reasons may vary – a book being free of battery rundown, a book is easier to carry around, a book is just the right size, etc. And then the reason that most page-turning purists love to quote, ‘The quality of language in a book is much better than on the internet.’ Despite being a non-reader, I can’t say I completely disagree. History stands witness, that all great writers and poets have penned their alphabetical adventures on sheets of paper, which became books at some time.
Necessities of the times cause technology to leapfrog. So, books, newspapers, diaries, information booklets, etc. have suitably transformed into e-books, e-newspapers, blogs, websites, etc. On one hand this is slowly eroding the print media and on the other it is speeding up communication globally. Around the world, avid readers have taken kindly to the Kindle, Nook, iPad, Galaxy Tab, Playbook, etc. Slowly and steadily they are buying fewer books and unsubscribing themselves from their newspaper agency. Buying e-books online, reading articles, blogs, magazines, newspapers on the internet, downloading audio books, etc. is all on the rise. Authors, writers, editors, publishers have taken note of this trend and quite a lot of these have started moving their content to the internet.
Why is it still that if someone does not read in a print format but instead prefers electronic media to satiate his hunger for words, he’s termed as a non-reader? Quite often he’s even looked down upon, by self-proclaimed purists who worship the yellowing pages of a classic. Can’t the current generation gain knowledge and information from extensive reading of articles, blogs, magazines, papers, journals, reports, etc. on the internet, which are of course written by the same writers, authors, editors? Edward de Bono, Vikram Seth, William Dalrymple, John Micklethwait, Robert James Thomson will all always remain relevant, terse and gripping writers, irrespective of the media they choose. And who is to say that the reader can’t get the joy of turning physical pages and reading? May be they love knowledge at their fingertips.
The pleasure of reading should not be segregated between print and electronic media. If it’s the content that really matters, then no matter what the platform, the affair between readers and words will remain strong forever.