Ng: Reading and e-books-A A +A
By Wilson Ng
Thursday, January 3, 2013
I WAS able to catch up with my reading over the holidays and finished over half a dozen books. I did that while traveling and did not have to bring around the books.
All of them were in a smartphone that weighed less than a pound and which I just clipped on my belt, reading whenever I could, whether inside the plane or inside the car.
Over a year or so, I’ve read dozens of books without having to lug around heavy books. I must have saved a lot of trees as a result of reading only e-books.
The whole world is slowly moving to e-books. According the Pew Internet and American Life survey, 23 percent of Americans now read e-books while the number of adults who read printed books fell to 67 percent from 72 percent last year.
E-readers and tablets are now owned by over a third of Americans over 16 years old and this has caused a disruption.
Earlier, we noted how technology obliterated businesses. The encyclopedia business as we know it is dead. Record stores are now giving way to Internet download of songs; movie houses are being challenged by DVD sales and later, direct downloads or streaming, while e-books in itself is disrupting modern book publishing.
Borders, America’s second largest chain of bookstores, went bankrupt last year. Barnes & Noble, the biggest chain, is struggling to keep up with the transition. Amazon, the
world’s largest bookstore, has said their e-book sales exceed sales of physical books.
This is one company that has benefitted from the shift to digital.
Schools are also embracing tablets and we hope that it won’t be too long when children or even college students used to lugging around over 10 pounds of physical books will just find it all in a tablet.
I have also increasingly been using the tablet to read magazines and newspapers. There are numerous magazines that stopped print publication. Newsweek, a venerable news magazine in existence for over 80 years, published their last print edition last Dec 31, deciding to retain only its digital edition. Newsweek has seen readers of its print edition go down from over three million in 2000 to 1.5 million as of end 2012.
One of the best add-ons you might want to consider if you read a lot of books and news on your tablet is the application Pocket, which used to be called ReadItLater. The app is available for the iOS/Android phone or tablet.
What Pocket does is enable you to quickly share what you are reading. What is nice is that you can do that in one or two keystrokes. If you’re reading an article, you can just click on share and click Pocket and the system will clip the news and download the article, including photos.
What is nice is that it is interchangeable. If you clip an article using your Android tablet, you can find it waiting for you when you access Pocket using your smartphone or PC. It is a very good service for someone like me, who writes weekly articles. I can just read every day, and if there is anything I want to remember, I can just use Pocket to clip it and I can always read the whole thing again later.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 04, 2013.