Electronic books, or the idea of them, have been around awhile. But only since Amazon’s Kindle have they really taken off and there is no question where the book or published writing in general is headed.
Briefly, here’s what’s wrong with traditional paper books and what ebooks remedy:
- they take up too much space in an increasing mobile world,
- some of us like having large libraries to consult wherever we go,
- the energy and resources consumed in the production of traditional books—“treebooks”—requires justification, and
- the cost of producing treebooks prevents genuinely valuable literature from easy dissemination (value does not equal popularity).
Yes, there is and may always be a place for treebooks, but the vast majority of what gets published today does not deserve that place.