Here we are on day 2 of the A-Z Challenge 2012, and therefore we are bringing you today’s blog courtesy of the letter B.
Before we begin, I must apologise for the hastily posted and badly introduced post yesterday. I was in a bit of a spin yesterday and didn’t get any computer access until really late last night so couldn’t post anything until nearly bedtime. It was entirely my own fault for not being properly organised with this challenge, and having read 15 other blogger’s efforts today I have been galvanised into producing something worthwhile today. So here we go.
B is for Books
We have been writing and scribing on materials such as velum, bark, stone, papyrus etc for hundreds of thousands of years, but the humble book as we know it has only been around for around 1500 years. We have had scrolls, tablets, codexes etc for much longer than that, but in terms of a collection of pages with information or entertaining material on them hinged to the side are a relatively new idea in the grand history of man.
The book itself has changed relatively little since it was first constructed – Medieval monks wrote them, copied them, illustrated them and bound them pretty much as they do now. Of course the printing press had a huge influence on the strict mechanics of how the humble book was made, but a modern book looks exactly the same as a Medieval one. The production method and the materials used to bind it are different to the first books, but it is still essentially the same thing.
The humble paper- or hard-back book has a little brother, the e-book. A lot of people would argue that an e-book is not a book at all – how can it be if you can’t actually hold it?? Books have been stored electronically since the 1940’s (yes I was surprised by that fact when I first read it), but the widespread production and sale of digital books has only really taken off in the past few years.
So what of the future of books? Do they have a place in our future, or are they consigned to history now? Will they be as valuable to our descendants as they were to our ancestors? Who knows.
I am a great book lover, but recently I have had to question myself whether it really is the BOOK I love, or the WORDS inside them. I came to my decision that it was the words and the stories that are more important when a very kind lady at church gave me several bags full of paperbacks that she was throwing out. I will probably get round to reading them all in time, but until I do, I am stepping over piles of Harlan Coben, John Grisham and Jeffrey Deaver books all around my bed and to be honest, falling over them is starting to get a bit tiresome! I have got boxes and boxes of books stored in my loft and garage, which is a comforting thought to me, but the influx of reading material in the last couple of weeks has got me thinking that even for me, the future of the paperback is questionable.
The advent of Kindle books has been fantastic, and I have enjoyed reading a couple of books on my PC so for me the next natural step is to move away from my computer screen and get my hands on a proper e-reader.
I have pre-ordered the Kindle Touch which will be out at the end of April here in the UK and I can’t wait to use it. As much as I love the physical book in my hand, I have come to the conclusion that, certainly for fiction, it is the only way forward for me. I can’t say the same for non fiction books though. I have a feeling that my “reference library” of books will be around for a long while yet!
What do you think? Are you a book fan and if so what do you think of e-books vs tree-books? If you aren’t a book fan, what do you make of the argument that a story is a story no matter what vehicle it is delivered in?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
- The development of the printing press, from print to the computer and EBooks (diginarrate.net)
- Next Kindle to include built-in book smell potpourri burner (teleread.com)
- Kindle Touch, Hitting the European Streets on April 27 (amog.com)
- Amazon Kindle Touch Pre-Ordering Goes Live In UK (itproportal.com)