Electronic books began to spread in Japan these days. E-books are very useful. They can be read through portable electronic terminal. E-books have a lot of problems at present, but they will become mainstream in the publishing industry in the future. Then, are paper books destined to disappear? Are paper books in demand for common purposes other than study and preservation, for example hobbies and work?
In my opinion, paper books are in demand. There are two reasons for this. First, paper books and e-books are of the different character. Second, young men prefer paper books to e-books.
First, as paper books and e-books are of the different character, they have different uses. So, both are necessary. On the one hand, the e-books is suitable to be read outside on the train and bus, or especially when the readers kill time on the chair. Digital book readers are portable. Even if the digital book reader contains the data of many volumes, the weight of it doesn’t change at all. On the other hand, the paper book is suitable to be read in bed. Many people often read books before sleeping. The bright screen of the digital book readers disturbs our sleep. According to SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (cited in Sutherland, 2012 December), “Mariana Figueiro of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her team showed that two hours of iPad use at maximum brightness was enough to suppress people's normal nighttime release of melatonin, a key hormone in the body's clock, or circadian system.” Also because paper books are hard to break, we can bring it to bed freely.
Second, people like paper books better than e-books. According to Voxburner (cited in Ward, 2013 November), “62% of 16-24 year olds prefer books as physical products.” Well, why do people like paper books? I think there are two reasons. First, men have read paper books for a long time. People love the feel of the paper and turning the page. The paper books have the very old history. Men are used to paper books. E-books are terminals, not paper books. Another reason is that many people think of paper books as collection. Collections satisfy us. We will not acquire this satisfaction in the lists of mere data.
Paper books will not vanish because we need paper books apart from e-books, and we love paper books. However people including me get fewer and fewer chances to read now because of the Internet. The spread of e-books is the big chance to change this situation. I expect e-books very much. I hope that books are more familiar in the future than now.
Sutherland (2012,December). SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Bright Screens
Could Delay Bedtime. Retrieved from:
Ward (2013,November). Voxburner 62% of 16-24s prefer books as physical products. Retrieved from: