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Posted by on Sep 1, 2012 in Books |

Physical books, do you still have them worth? (Part I)

Physical books, do you still have them worth?  (Part I)

“The book is a fragile creature, it suffers the wear of time, fears rodents, the elements and clumsy hands” – Umberto Eco

The book is printed on a storage device read only. We could say that this creation of Gutenberg is version 1.0, stable, slowly evolving thing, halfway between the cave walls, clay tablets and the latest Kindle Touch . The book is a container of objects we call “novel”, “fairy”, “test” or “poetry”. The book is his memory and CPU us.

Internet, meanwhile, is a metalibro: boundless, able to connect to the rest, and dynamic, adaptable, read and write, prone to expansion, collaborative, the book that stores books and more complex objects “video”, “audio “,” links “raw material” tweets “,” blogs “, written in universal languages such as HTML, JavaScript and CSS, read in any language stream (and automatic translators). Internet is a tangible only metalibro LCD screens, smartphones and even on TV. A book-network, that is also Internet.

Now, is it worth continuing to buy printed books? I think so, at times (special editions and graphic novels …). Certainly personal experience with the object-of-paper book with its texture, aroma, typography, cover, weight can become unique and endearing, complementing the reading experience. Internet also think that practice makes seriously weigh centennial.

In this first part presented a pair of arguments to reconsider buying printed books versus electronic. In a forthcoming second part will present other arguments share, this time economic and creative.

1. Sociopolitical argument

The publishing industry holds too much power. While a business is as valid as any other, should not be the only form of quasi-edit and distribute literature or knowledge in general. In the Internet age, it is more evident with a little horizontal proposals as Issuu, Amazon Direct Publishing and Hyperink . And best tools as iBooks Author to democratize, promote, independent book publishing.

Moreover, there are great authors of books that do absolutely everything yourself, from the layout, editing and publishing books, sometimes corrected collectively as learn Haskell for the good of all! . And often with free licenses. Not to mention what it means today compared Wikipedia to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Today, few are willing to buy a whole encyclopedia on paper.

Even the distribution of scientific literature is exempt, today more than ever questioned still ruled-dominated publishers like Elsevier, where other models fairer distribution of emerging scientific knowledge to cope, as in the case of arXiv.

Only by removing power to the publisher for distribution oligopoly a new generation of authors, I would stop buying printed books.

2. Argument evolutionary-ecological

Printed books, as we know, will be the new incunabula. antonomasia The book will be electronic. I do not know exactly when, or how, but it will happen: electronic reading devices have even cheaper, reliable, durable, organic, flexible, interactive, hypertext, even without those useless pro-copyright locks. The eBook is the next evolutionary step and what we know is just the dawn of a new era for what we call book. Where technology will not stop to look back or have any nostalgic consideration with paper books.

Acquiring instead of accumulating piles of moth-eaten books is prone to a personal position. However, changing the role of the e-paper technology issues cobra only real sense in light of the ecological argument.

Now, is it true that is more environmentally friendly electronic readers buy paper books? No doubt many trees will not be cut. What about e-waste and the electricity needed to keep them alive? Scholars have concluded that the more books with e-readers are read more ecological are these devices, at least in terms of the carbon footprint left on the planet.

In general we can say that those who read more than ten or fifteen books a year are good candidates to buy electronic readers because that will damage the planet less than if bought printed-not to mention the physical space that will save us all. On the contrary, if a person reads one or five books a year, you’d better purchase books in the traditional way. Simple and cost-effective flat for the planet (and for us).

Continued next week …

Photo: Boltron-

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