The Printed Book AND the Electronic Reader are Alive and Well

One of the most frequently discussed topics these days is whether the printed book has seen the end of its useful life, with the increasing popularitiy of electronic and digital media. Look around on any given day, and you will see a great many people carrying or staring into any one of a number of electronic devices, from laptop computers, to smart phones, to tablet computers, to e-book readers.

I will leave it to others to participate in the loud debate. For my own contribution to this topic, I submit that there is eventually going to be a place at the table for the various formats, with each being recognized for its unique strengths and weaknesses. Some will prefer the convenience offered by an electronic device, while others will enjoy the presence and physical feel of a paper based item.

There are those who will need to stay current with information and data, from fast developing and changing events throughout the community and the world, as well as for other immediate needs such as traffic information and weather forecasts. At the same time, there are readers whose requirements are not always so immediate. A student reading a work of history, or other areas of literature, for a school assignment can make the claim that his or her needs are as effectively met by using a hard copy book or periodical.

Whatever the format, it is important that the same goal be pursued and reached, namely the seeking and assimilation of information. The blinking lights on an electronic device, or the printed letters on a page of paper, are essentially worthless if the effort behind possessing the device or item is nothing more than to impress others with the latest or most costly of personal accessories.

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