The Book is Dead, long Live the Book!

Ulla Hennig

Bookshelf. Photo: Ulla Hennig

This is one of my bookshelves. I am a lover of books, I like to hold them in my hand, to look at the cover, even to smell the paper.

With the arrival of the e-book, there is a discussion going on about whether the book as it is now will still be sold in a few years. Instead of trying to give a final answer to this question I describe in a few words how I will deal with the printed book and its electronic rival:

  • I read a lot of fiction in my free time at home. I don’t see me sitting there, with a blanket around me, having a cup of tea at my side, holding an e-book reader in my hands.
  • I read a lot of fiction in trains or other places not being my home. I’ve got the problem that I am a terribly fast reader – I am devouring books. That forces me to carry loads of books with me – either in my suitcase or backpack. I can imagine holding an e-book reader in my hands, with some twenty or so books in it.
  • I can also imagine having an e-book reader when I am commuting to work and back.

So for me, it’s both. I’d like to try one of those e-book readers, but I never will give up the old fashioned printed book!

About Ulla Hennig

I live and work in Berlin. Taking photos is one of my hobbies, and writing is one of my hobbies, too. So I decided not only to show some of my pictures here but also present some of the thought which came wth the pictures.

14 responses to “The Book is Dead, long Live the Book!”

  1. Joanna Young says :

    Ulla, I haven’t tried an e-book reader yet, but I like you can imagine using one.

    Also like you I *cannot* imagine being without ‘real’ books!

  2. Karen Wallace says :

    Ulla,
    I really hope that we keep printing books on paper for a long time to come. Me and electronics only agree to a limited extent – give me a printed, bound book any day!

    I can understand a long commute, or travel, where an ebook reader would be lighter… so if you do try one, I’d love to hear how you go.

  3. Ulla Hennig says :

    Karen,
    thanks for stopping over! My relationship to electronics is quite good, but I cannot imagine going to a virtual library without real books to take out of the shelves!

  4. Robert Hruzek says :

    I’m the same way, Ulla. I love the feel of a paperback book in my hands, the portability of it. But on a long trip I’d have to (and have!) carry 10-20 books with me to last because I’m such a fast reader! Those times an e-reader would be a convenience. *sigh*

  5. Brad Shorr says :

    Ulla, I also am with you. There’s nothing like a book. Reading online is sometimes efficient, but for me sterile and physically uncomfortable. What would life be without snuggling up with a good book?

  6. Lunarossa says :

    Hi Ulla, I prefer paper books to ebook as I spend most of my time working in front of a computer so reading a book on it would be just a nightmare for me. I like reading in bed or in a comfortable chair, so ebooks are not good for me. But recently I’ve “inherited” my son’s Ipod so I’ve just discovered audiobooks and I love them, especially when I’m driving. The only disadvantage is that audiobooks are sometimes abridged and that’s a nuisance! Ciao. Antonella

  7. Karen Swim says :

    Ulla, I completely agree with you. I don’t have an e-book reader but can see the value (traveling, etc.) but I also never want to give up real books. I love the way they feel, I love turning the page, I love viewing the printed word. The trend is to digital, eco friendly but in some instances we need paper. I print 75% less than I did in the past but find it impossible to edit and accurately proofread without printing and reading. I hope books don’t go the way of the newspaper!

  8. Patricia says :

    I love reading and after 6 months I find reading on my Kindle much more fun. I took 30 books with me on the plane on my last trip and have almost not gone back to printed books since I returned. I can read a text in almost half the time and some of the new modifications they announced yesterday make me even happier.

    the books download in less that a minute even on the plane.

    I read two news services on the kindle and 2 blogs daily.

    The pictures come in just fine. I like that I can use the ask services to define a word or answer a question within 30 minutes in most places – as I was lost and they found me a map..no lie

    I can change the print size

    I can take notes for future reference and I can highlight a page

    I love the leather cover

    I just read a 1200 page paperback on Scotland’s history, it was awkward and hard to carry that much weight.

    I read a 980 page novel on the Kindle in 1/2 the time and without all the weight Fits in my purse.

    I have about 16 books I want to keep on my library shelves but that is all, I am taking the rest bag load by bag load to the Friends of the Library book sale.

    I don’t want so many things in my life…and the cost is so much less and the author’s are paid correctly and well.

    Have I raved enough?

  9. bjkeltz says :

    Hmmm, Patricia, thanks. I’m such a die hard paper book person that I hadn’t thought about being able to read faster on a reader (I’m waiting for Plastic Logic to get out their lightweight 8.5 x 11″ reader).

    Do you have eye strain with it?

    Seriously, curling up in bed with a reader just wouldn’t be the same as with a book. I’m willing to try it, but can’t imagine replacing my books or not buying more.

  10. Ulla Hennig says :

    Patricia,
    thanks very much for sharing your experiences with an e-book-reader! I read somewhere else that using an electronic reader is good for people with eye-problems. That could be another reason for me to try it out…

  11. Kikolani - Poetry | Photography | Blogging Tips says :

    Your shelves are so neat and orderly. I have to agree that I love the printed book most, but since I have less time to devote to sitting and reading, I have opted recently to do audiobooks instead, since I can listen to them at work. Since doing that, I have read more in the last few months than I have in years.

    ~ Kristi

  12. magnumlady says :

    I love books too and really can’t imagine using the e-reader.
    I think it would my my eyes sore and its very expensive so I would worry I might damage it.
    It would also mean the death of the library and I love going to my local library and spending a couple of hours choosing books.

    • Ulla Hennig says :

      Magnumlady,
      thanks for taking the time and leaving a comment.
      I also love going to my local library. But I learned that an e-reader is really a big help for people with bad eyes, because you can adjust the size of the font. So your eyes might not get sore!

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