Bookcases are pretty. They also are heavy and difficult to disassemble. Then there is the moving. Perhaps the only thing more difficult to get up and down a flight of stairs is a mattress. Then there are the books.
Books are pretty. Unfortunately, stacking paperbacks or hardbacks in a moving box means at some point a dolly will be required to move them. And don’t forget about the dust. Sure, most book lovers dust their bookshelves regularly. Of course, they do. It’s a ritual, right? (Likely not.)
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Moving is not fun. The less you have to pack and haul to the moving truck the better. Book lovers usually realize how infrequently they reread the books on their unwieldly bookshelves when they are packing. Sure, they could stop by the used bookstore and drop off the unwanted books on the way to the interstate but it’s more likely the books will end up in an anonymous dumpster before leaving the old neighborhood.
The books that are not tossed are moved to the next homestead because they might be used as a reference. Such is the life of books.
[Related reading: 30 Great Books for Children]
A Different Way
The mighty eBook has obliterated the need for bookshelves and Nook has made reading books on iPad tablets and other mobile gadgets incredibly easy. No dust will result.
No longer do book lovers have to lug old books and bookshelves from town to town. They can put all of their precious books on their iPad or store them in a cloud. Because someday, someday soon, they will reread that copy of “Gravity’s Rainbow.”
Is there more magic in printed words than in electronic words? For some people, yes. Some people prefer to hold real books, to snuggle on the couch with their child over a cherished story while turning pages, and to smell the wonderful scent of real paper. There is another group of people, however, who enjoy the electronic words, quick access to books, and apps that offer free books to read while waiting at a doctor office or airport.
In 50 years it’s possible that eBooks will have evolved into files to be downloaded to a chip in the reader’s brain. But for now, reading apps are considered a cool and innovative technology.
Reading apps provide numerous benefits:
- Change font size
- Change brightness
- Provide color photos
Those are just the basics. Reading apps are continually improving and offering new features. B&N Readouts recently debuted for the Nook reading app. According to Barnes & Noble, the feature delivers new, short reads to users on their mobile devices through the Nook reading app. The content selection can be modified based on the user’s preferences.
One fancy, new hack with iOS 9 is the in-app search, The Verge recently reported. With the new feature, readers can start searching for book titles before they even open the reading app.
Reading apps have built in dictionaries and highlighting is easy. Readers can choose different colors of highlight. Taking notes with a reading app is as simple as cut-and-paste. And in the end, the original copy is not ruined with pen marks and bent pages (although many avid readers love that part!).
Brains Like Books
EBooks make the dream of learning to read a foreign language by reading a foreign book doable, says Adam Zetterlund of FluentU. With built-in dictionaries and Web browsers only a swipe away, moving through a foreign book doesn’t have be an exercise in frustration.
Some may say books are a lost cause and are being replaced by social media. Attention spans are shrinking and books don’t have enough bells and whistles to hold someone’s interest. The good news is studies show reading books allows readers to live vicariously through visualizations the brain creates, Vearsa recently reported. Other mediums can’t do that. Reading can increase attention spans.
So although print books may be fading away (until they make a comeback), eBooks should be able to maintain a healthy existence while other mediums come and go.
Who’s ready for a flash drive in the brain?
Photo via Google Images.