19 09 2010

Yesterday I went to Starbucks  to discuss on an assignment with my team. I had a package of books on my backpack to be ready for the discussion. When we met, all my friends were ready for the discussion except one. When we saw the last group member, we were frustrated for some minutes because he didn’t get any books and materials with him. However, when we asked him, he opened a brand new i-pad with all the resources in it as a pdf file.

Almost all the internet people are using internet today for reading newspapers and journals. In addition to daily use, we are today hearing the term electronic book more than yesterday. The term e-book was first used in 1967 and 1968’s (Anuradha & Usha, 2006) and today most of the internet people are familiar with the term. Some people know e-book as hardware like i-pad or kindle some as software like pdf books; however we all recognize that they came with a lot of convenience and advantages. The advantages of the e-books are: portability, 24/7 access, text search, and reference linking. Imagine 10 years ago as an international student using Oxford Dictionary to find a translation of a word. It was taking few minutes to find a definition of just one word. Today, it just takes seconds. Imagine as a graduate student doing a literature review with a package of articles with you in the Starbucks. Today it is just a 14 inch computer (around 5 lb) in your backpack. So, why are we still using books?

In a class last year, professor told me that people are always resistant to change the habits. People who are older than 20 year-old grew with books and we feel more comfortable using books than electronic devices. I still, unfortunately, feel that I cannot learn without underlying a book or drawing the important keywords. In addition to these habits, we old generation are not familiar with the technology. My high school teacher was using the mouse like touching a real live mouse. We are still not familiar with the soft and hard technology, and resistant to use them. Another factor, maybe the most important, is the cost. People cannot afford the prices for i-pad, kindle and even the software.

Nevertheless, today is different than yesterday, and every new generation has fewer limits than previous one. Using electronic texts will be inevitable.

Reference: K. T. Anuradha and H. S. Usha (2006). Use of e-books in an academic and research environment: A case study from the Indian Institute of Science.




One response

26 09 2010

Nice post! I couldn’t avoid laughing upon reading that your teacher was touching a computer mouse like a real live one 😉
It’s great that you’ve identified all of those benefits of having an e-book… of course, some people might argue that e-books are useless if they run out of battery. And I guess this is a problem with all electronic devices, indeed this past December my laptop run out of battery in an airport and it was practically impossible to find a place where to charge it (all places were already taken). However, it seems that nowadays are making devices that last up to 10 hours before running out of power.

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