Why I hate technology: This can be summed up in one simple word: Kindle. This bloody device has sparked an amazing wave of e-readers all around; Barnes and Noble’s Nook and the latest edition, Apple’s iPad. There are so many things wrong with this, that I probably can’t express them all. I work in a bookshop, so naturally I’m fairly opposed to the whole idea of people not buying books, but instead buying the souls of books. It doesn’t make it any easier to deal with that my boss has given a lecture to each of the staff members about how fantastic they are; not only displaying how easily and cheaply he has downloaded an e-book to his very own iPhone, but then making strange remarks about how the e-book age is very similar to how VHS was overtaken by DVD. It is suffice to say that he is wrong. Every person I have spoken to about it has been strongly opposed to the idea of a library in one small piece of technology. I cannot imagine how the feel of a book can be surpassed by a touch screen.
I am tired of hearing “but they’re so cheap and easy to buy!” because they’re not. I think it’s about $10US on Amazon for an average paperback; it’s a mere nine dollars more to buy a hard copy. The supposed savings you are making on books is immediately wasted on the price of the thing anyway. And since when was it so terribly difficult to go to a bookshop and pick up a copy?
What’s more, one of the greatest things about hard-copy books is that fact that you can lend them to people. I personally have about four or five friends who have a large proportion of my books at their house, most of which they have loved, and have not had to buy their own copy. How are you supposed to lend a copy of a DRM encoded e-book? Do you lend them your entire iPad?
There are many questions I would like to have answered about e-books. The perks of e-book readers can often be replicated in a real book, and better. “The battery lasts for ages”, for example. Well, does the battery last for fifty years? One hundred? Cause I’m fairly sure that’s how long a book’s ‘battery’ lasts for.
The e-book phenomenon can only last so long. It’s a novel idea which people will jump on simply because it’s new. But to be perfectly honest, people will get bored of downloading a book, looking at it, and then downloading another one. And then probably going out to buy a real book that they’ll actually read. If I’m wrong, I’ll eat my own foot.