Books ‘n’ Bytes


Whether you like reading books on a display or not (I do not, it is just not the same) you can think what you want about eBooks, but digitization in generel is not a bad thing at all. You can carry your books around, wherever you travel to, on a small USB stick and if your books become destroyed you can still copy and re-print them.

Wired just featured a DOY gadget how to digitize the books you already own. Other initiatives for example in the EU or by private companies such as Google Inc. started to digitize books on a large scale. Several shops such as e-library sell digitized books and while using Kindle you not only carry them around with you but also read them on a 6″ display wherever you like whenever you like.

The bad thing though is losing privacy. Regarding the Orwell-Kindle-incident, digitization always means some new obstacles but advantages without disadvantages at the same time are rare. Plus, the Kindle is not the only way of reading eBooks and my laptop has no amazon-backdoor (even though it might have other backdoors).

What about copyright infringement? It is true that copying and ‘sharing’ books is far more easy while having a digitized version. Someone buys a copy, then uploads it to $filesharing network and the rest of the world gets a copy for free. Well, I do not want to argue about copyrights in general, creative commons and how to earn money even though something is published under CC license.

This discussion directly leads to the next point: Who wants to read on a display when you can sit in front of a fireplace with a good glass of wine and an analog eBook in his/ her hands? Well, I know there are some people, but in general I get the impression that reading a good old book will never be outdated. And this is exactly the point why eBooks will never erase the production of traditional books, which is the fear of quite a lot of people.

Thus, having a look at my book shelf will always be more amazing than having a look at my eBooks. On the other hand, due to the fact that I travel quite a lot, having all my books handy is comfortable. Concluding, I would argue that having all your books digitalised on your harddisk and analog on your bookshelf is the best way. I would be really happy if I could download eBooks of books I bought for free instead of construct the said gadget to digitise my books. Let us hope for the future that buying traditional books in future will include a free digital copy as well.

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