22 October 2009

books and digital e-ink revolution coming

reading article "The Google Book Store, Coming Soon To A Browser Near You" @ TC , I had some thoughts, which most probably other people share too.

somehow I feel vary about "paper -> digital" books transition presumably-closer-in-time - on one hand, emotionally and sub-consciously paper has more traits than digital: digital e-ink has no smell, feeling of age in book, you can't do handmade notes with distinctive personal touch, etc-etc-etc, leave alone difference in human perception between light screen vs reflecting paper

on the other hand - digital books have full text index, you can search in them, have wild amount of meta possible, etc-etc-etc

so this is not exactly win-loose game - it should take some more time, no matter what would-be digital printing suppliers and Co would like us to believe ...

on the other hand, our children (probably) and grand-...-children (most probably) will have perception of paper as something _ancient_

and the other aspect - somehow digital _printing_ I perceive as unsustainable i.e. one have to rely on rather complex infrastructure, which is not necessarily reproducible with simple tools

here and there I see examples of calculations "how ebooks are more green and mean and lean" while it is common knowledge (or is it?) that electronic waste is one of worst forms of pollution, both during production and rest of life cycle, and ethical producers are not that cheap.

and there is no guarantee that digital _books_ will survive in long term, as paper one do sometimes - usually they are made as short-term cheap-o-device... so are we going to put our future to be bet for e-ink pushers?

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