Books getting extinct?

Published May 8th, 2008

Looks like I start to like English blog entries. :)

Today we did a short writing exercise in an English lesson at school. More or less as voluntary homework I wrote a short statement about the following topic:

Some media experts claim that one day books are likely “to go the way of the dinosaur”.

Figure 1 A nice inline figure

Just a random picture, no real content

Note: The size of figures is specified directly as an inline style. It's the width of the figure (picture) + 12px (2 * 5px padding and 2 * 1 px border). Unfortuantely there seems no other way for proper line breaks of the figure descriptions.

I really like topics about information (structure, flow, sharing, whatever) and therefore I just want to share some of my thoughts on this with the rest of the digital world:

In my opinion books will not follow the way of the dinosaurs in the way that they get extinct. Books are used for several purposes right now like archiving, information sharing and entertainment.

To archive information modern digital media like the internet or databases are way more efficient. Books cannot be copied easily and have to be preserved with extreme caution to not get unreadable within several decades. Digital information however can be copied and regenerated within just a few milliseconds and more important for archiving: searching digital data takes just some seconds instead of days or months required to search through most paper based archives. In this area books will surely loose their purpose if they not already have.

It’s almost the same for the task of information sharing though books, especially in the scientific or technical sectors. Most of these books are already outdated before they are printed or distributed around the globe. In this area digital information also takes out books because of the same features described in the previous paragraph and by the fact that digital information can be distributed around the world just within seconds.

However things are looking different in the entertainment sector. Novels or other forms of literature are not getting outdated to fast and it’s not important to search though them. They are only read a few times to entertain the reader and are not used as references. Books are also more comfortable to read. For example reading a novel at a PC screen is quite boring while reading it on a sofa or in a bed is a way better experience. In contrast to mobile devices like Notebooks or PDAs paper based text stays readable even under extreme light conditions. While it’s hard to clearly read anything on a Notebook directly hit by sunshine paper based text stays perfectly readable. Thanks to the high light reflection rate of paper a book can also be read with just a dim light around while screen devices will dazzle the reader in an uncomfortable way. Books can also be read without requiring special devices to decode the information and therefore do not require energy. In my personal opinion this is the area where books will not lose any of their popularity in the foreseeable future.

It’s not really detailed but I think it’s ok for a short overview. I honestly like English lessons that way. :)

It’s not really detailed but I think it’s ok for a short overview. I honestly like English lessons that way. :)

2 comments so far, leave a new one Tags: study, books

Inkscape: using vector graphics for web design

Published May 8th, 2008

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Figure 2 My favorite background from the game Cloud

A jung boy walking over a meadow with yellow flowers and the blue sky in the background
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Figure 3 Another, this time a linked one!

Just a random picture, no real content

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