Reports have emerged telling of UK high-street book store Waterstones’ 5% jump in sales this Christmas. With the figures being released simultaneously to reports of Amazon Kindle sales ‘disappearing’, it seems as though the old dusty paperback has been victorious over that digital, shiny E-Reader. The VHS has beaten the BluRay. The record player has beaten the MP3. Who could have predicted that three years ago, when we were all swooning over words – the same words – on a screen rather than a tangible leaf of paper?
So is it farewell to the E-Reader? Let’s hope not. While most of us prefer thumbing through an annotated, torn, smelly old book, that doesn’t mean the E-Reader has no place in the world.
No, I’m not talking about when Fifty Shades of Grey, or similar novels, are released and we all want a cheeky read on the train without being judged.
The real strength of the E-Reader is in education. Think of all those textbooks you had to buy, or that schools have to stock. Think of the times you struggled to a class with eight gravestones in your bag just in case the lecturer decided to reference a mildly interesting point on page 497.
An E-Reader in education is a space-saver, a win for practicality and a one-nil for the tree-huggers. Think of thousands of textbooks at your fingertips, all searchable for information. Think about how they can be locked to a certain page, so teachers can keep an eye on those pesky class-clowns wanting to look at the picture of the naked human anatomy on page 912. Think about the droves of University students damned to trawl eBay and their Grandparent’s attic in order to find a 1952 publication on Scottish Law. An E-Reader solves it all if it could offer educational material way back into the archives of history.
So there you have it. E-Readers aren’t all Satan’s spawn.
Just don’t try and kill our beloved novels again….