Sunday, November 4, 2012

Death of the dedicated eReader? I think not...

This is an interesting and vaguely weird article about the potential death of the eReader. Yes, you read that correctly - now we speculate as to when eInk technology will become obsolete because of tablets and alternative eReading devices. To which I say the same thing I say every time someone freaks about the impending death of the book: um... no? Or rather, I suppose: probably not?

The reason I am fairly confident that dedicated eReaders will survive (in some form) is similar enough to the reason I think that print books will survive. While there are relatively few people in the world who are considered dedicated readers, there is still a fairly large global market for people who read enough to justify buying an eReader. Some will prefer the shift to digital, true, but not all digital is made equal. I cannot see someone like my aunt - who now reads exclusively off her Kindle - making the move towards an iPad or any other tablet computer. It's just not the same. Every time I've tried to read off tablets, I've found that it's a little more distracting than my Sony Reader. The reason I like my Reader is because it mimics the traditional reading experience incredibly well (while also giving me a few bonuses, like internet access). A device as glossy as my laptop? Not quite as appealing.

What I find especially interesting about this article, though, is that it establishes eInk devices as part of our general reading history. By attempting to spell its doom, Jeremy Wagstaff is essentially acknowledging eInk's position as a legitimate reading form. And like with the case of critics crying about the demise of the printed word, I get the feeling that this article will only emphasize just how wrong it's assessment is...

6 comments:

  1. I'm on the other side of this argument. I feel that eventually we'll all end up with a Kindle-sized appliance that will do everything :)

    Oh, and I've been through this before. I have countless mini-discs from my time in Japan - I was ahead of my time (until digital music appeared...).

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  2. Hahaha, this is why I try never to be an early adopter of technologies. I hope it's not the death of the e-reader, because I am awfully fond of my Nook. And I agree with you -- I like having a dedicated e-reader, and I don't want to replace it with a tablet. It's good being away from the internet sometimes, you know?

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  3. I don't like backlighting, so I'll always prefer my eInk Nook to a tablet.

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  4. I'm with Rachel, I prefer eInk to backlighting, although in my case it's a Kindle simply because when I wanted a Nook Barnes and Noble wouldn't sell them in the UK. However, I have found the Kindle App on my I-pad useful when we've had power outages. Backlighting definitely comes into its own then.

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  5. Interesting article. I don't know where I stand on any of this. I think time will tell! I like eInk and prefer it to backlighting,b ut I like the multifunctional nature of the tablet.

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  6. ...and here I was the other day considering selling my Nook...since 99.9% of the time I read e-books on my iPad. Nook...Kindle..iBook...there are all there together.

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