Legal Law

e-readers in the future

The power of the written word can be so strong that it is difficult to describe, even with powerful written words. Communication is the key to interacting with other people, which is really our strongest drive as humans, after meeting basic needs.

We communicate in many different ways, from body language and facial expressions to all forms of audible communication. One of man’s greatest achievements has been to invent an alphabet and the ability to read and write.

With the written word we can record history, change history, give detailed instructions, make a to-do list, set goals, write a love letter, or apologize when spoken words are not enough or are too difficult to pronounce.

More with written words we have knowledge. Knowledge at our fingertips. We can learn whatever we choose to study or transform into another world or life, from romance novels to mystery adventures. Books are a wonderful gift to enrich our lives.

The 11-year-old son of one of my close friends called me recently because he was having trouble installing old software on a newer computer. I thought it was so nice when he called that the following weekend I went to his house and fixed the problem.

After fixing the problem, everyone was impressed. But the truth is, even though I am an MCSE, I never would have known how to fix the problem without looking up the error message and finding a solution. The reading skills I learned in grades 1 and 2 have served me well all my life.

With the advent of the Internet and e-readers there seems to be a revolution in the way we get our books. Do not misunderstand. Books do not go out of style and will be available for a long time. They are portable and inexpensive. We can have shelves of unread books, or carry a dog-eared book that is read and read again.

That said, new advancements in e-readers offer convenience, speed, and portability like never before. E-readers are not new and there have been versions for many years. Sony has a good e-reader and you can also download files to your laptop, Pocket PC or iPhone.

But I think the real revolution starts with the Amazon Kindle. The beauty of this e-reader is that it is designed to mimic a real book. The simple design, ergonomic feel in the hand, and glare-free black and white ePaper. It’s meant to be as comfortable, or more comfortable, than reading an actual book.

The idea is that readers forget that they are using an electronic reader and concentrate on the words, just as we do with a real book. Also, some have said that it is more comfortable than reading a real book because there are no awkward page turns or awkward angles, like at the beginning or end of a thick book.

The advantages of having the device is that you can carry around 20 books and reference manuals to boot, in a small device. You can also browse, preview, and download best sellers and a growing number of selections from books, magazines, blogs, and newspapers on the go.

Imagine that the university student can download all his textbooks on a small device. I remember when my cousin was in law school he hurt his back because his backpack was too heavy. Not to mention those 3-4 hour college bookstore lines.

I don’t think real books go the way of the dinosaurs. Not even the dinosaur ones. But the revolution has begun and e-readers are starting to stand on their own two feet. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more about these in the future as they become a common part of everyday life.

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