Talking to e-books, People may bring up these two questions:
1. Are e-books better than printed books?
2. Will e-books replace printed books one day?
The answer to the second question greatly depends on the answer to the first question, so are e-books better than printed books?
Compared to traditional printed books, e-books have obvious advantages in following ways: E-books are easily to achieve and carry around. They are searchable, so readers can quickly locate information without out turning page after page. Videos, audios and animations can be embedded into e-books to engage readers through interaction with information. E-books usually contain links, through which more relevant information can be explored on internet. In addition, e-books give readers freedom in choosing font size and page colors. Last but not least, e-books are environmental friendly, since they do not require any papers/trees.
E-books have plenty of advantages, but they are not perfect yet. According to Anuradha and Usha(2006), the possible factors that prevent people from reading e-books include the cost of e-books and e-book reading devices , the incompatibility between different suppliers, the hardness of reading and browsing e-books and inherent habits of reading traditional books.
It seems that technical barriers and people’s reading habits are the main causes of the weaknesses of e-books. But as the fast development of technology, I think e-books will soon overcome all of technical barriers and bring readers satisfying reading experiences. At that time, e-books may really replace printed books, just like how printed books replaced books written on clothes or animal skins.
PS: 3 related points
1 Nook Kids
A couple of days ago, I watched this advertisement of Nook Kids on Barnes & Noble’s website. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nookcolor/kids/index.asp?PID=35665 I was so amazed by the changes that e-books are bringing to children’s picture books--those still pictures start moving! But at the same time, I wonder if one day kids will lose picture books forever, because there will be no clear difference between picture e- books and animations.
2. Books after e-books
If e-books replace printed books, then what will be the next generation of books which are going to replace e-books? MIT student Pattie Maes is working a new HCI technic, SixthSense. http://www.ted.com/talks/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.htmlAccording to Pattie, people will have no need to use computer screens or other reading devices in the near future, since SixthSense can project any images on any surface, such as a wall, a piece of paper or even our hand. So the next generation of books after e-books will have no specific texture/surface anymore.
3. Timeline and digital map
I found timeline and digital map are fabulous contents for e-books. Appropriate applications of these two things in history and geography e-textbooks will greatly enhance students’ learning interests and outcomes.
K. T. Anuradha, & H. S. Usha (2006). Use of e-books in an academic and research environment: A case study from the Indian Institute of Science. http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/5890/1/ebook1-final.pdf