Monday, February 27, 2017

*Guest Post - Technology & Books"

Hi all!  I am excited to share with you all today a guest post from Cassie about how technology has impacted us over the recent years with books, our personal libraries and reading in general.  While I love my Kindle, it just isn't the same as holding an actual book and there is just something to be said about arranging and rearranging bookshelves filled with such nice books and book covers!  We are interested to hear your thoughts! 

How Technology Has Changed Our Relationship with Books

There’s really nothing quite like a good book, and thanks to modern technology, you can go from sitting at your desk to reading a new book in seconds! Accessing new releases and a larger variety of books has never been easier since the release of e-book readers. Yet, not every book lover is fond of going digital.

The differences in opinions over e-books is understandable; many bookstores you visit to buy physical copies are small businesses, so by buying your books from them, you’re supporting people within your community. E-books also won’t fulfill some book lovers’ need for that new-book smell, and there’s certainly something appealing about the different textures books offer, as well as viewing photos and illustrations off-screen.

However, there are some pros to going digital as well. For some, a perfect balance is exactly what they prefer. Overall, technology has changed our relationships with books; people both young and old have come to accept modern technology’s role in how we read or access different content, and some have been left with little choice not to. 

Schools and colleges have even begun using e-books or recommending them to their students. Many libraries have adopted a digital method of lending out books in an effort to interest younger generations. It’s also unlikely e-books are going to disappear any time soon, so we can expect that technology will play an even larger role in our relationship with books in the future.

Here’s how technology has changed our relationship with books so far.

Larger Collections and More Variety

Technology has made it possible for us to access more books and store larger collections. Retail space is limited, so there’s always going to be a book or two your local bookstore won’t have. Though it’s true they can sometimes order it, there are digital copies of rare books available you wouldn’t be able to read if not for modern technology.

Browsing through books online also gives you the opportunity to explore a wider variety of genres that perhaps your local bookstore doesn’t have. Searching online can be quicker as well since you can filter books by category, price and format.

E-books in particular are an affordable way for new authors to publish their work. Even more experienced authors prefer to publish e-books instead of print. The overall process involved in publishing e-books is shorter, more cost-effective and less nerve-wracking, making it the go-to method for authors who want their work to make it into online marketplaces quickly.

As the reader, this can actually be a good thing for you since it means that by turning to the internet to find e-books, you’ll be able to access a ton of great content you can’t find anywhere else. Even if you’re in an area where content is region-blocked, thanks to technology, you can gain access to even more books with a Virtual Private Network. 

No Shelf Space Required

“Less is more” seems to describe what appeals to many young adults lately, and perhaps technology is partially to blame for that. More people are interested in seeking out tiny homes and simply having less stuff than they used to. All-in-one gadgets replace many tools we once needed to purchase separately, and information can be found in seconds just by searching Google.

That being said, a good number of people like the idea of not having to carry around multiple books or store them in their homes at all. E-books haven’t quite yet made the bookshelf obsolete, but those who favor e-books have no need for bookshelves any longer since they can store all of their books on one small device.

Modern-day gadgets have also allowed us to travel with our books wherever we go, as well as download new books in an instant. E-book readers, tablets and smartphones can all be used to read e-books and are great for traveling since you don’t have to deal with the hassle of carrying a bag of books along with you.

Interactive Reading and Customization

Technology has made interactive reading possible. On some devices, you can tap the names of characters or tap on single words to obtain more information about them. If you come across an unfamiliar word or lose track of who’s who in the book you’re reading, you can quickly and easily figure things out without needing a separate device to do so.

There are also apps that can help kids get and stay interested in reading by adding special effects to make them interactive. The Reading Rainbow app is one of the best examples of this, and it wouldn’t be surprising if similar apps for adults are developed in the near future. Videos and animated graphics can go a long way, though most great books inspire enough imagination all on their own.

Customization is another feature technology has brought to the table. E-book readers allow you to change the font, font size, screen brightness and more! If you have poor eyesight, for example, instead of seeking out large-print books, which can be hard to find, you can increase the font size on your e-reader. Many e-readers allow you to dim the backlight on the screen, so if you like to read in bed, the light won’t disrupt your partner. Technology allows us to tailor our reading experiences.

More Affordability

E-books are more affordable compared to physical copies of books, and most people have smartphones already, so they don’t need to purchase an extra device to read them. The affordability makes it possible for people to obtain and read more than ever before.

Technology has also given people the opportunity to reach out to other readers who enjoy the same genres, read reviews before they purchase books and have more interactions with authors overall. Some authors use Facebook Live to connect with their fans, for example. Modern tech has changed our relationship with books in a variety of ways that are mostly positive—though it’s doubtful e-books could ever replace print!

What are some other ways you think technology has changed our relationship with books? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

About the Author: Cassie is a writer who enjoys reading novels in her spare time. She’s also a technology enthusiast and loves sharing information about the latest gadgets and the role they can play in our everyday lives.

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