I remember when the Kindle first came out and being horrified of the thought of reading books in a digital format. With the usual exaggerated media attention stating that print books were going to die out, I hated the idea of a world without books. I did not really think about it at the time, but looking back I was already familiar with reading digital content, especially academic journals and ebooks through my university library, which I used to write my assignments and dissertation.
I was happy reading digital content for my studies, but when it came to reading for entertainment, the comfort of the physical book was much more appealing, and still is. Saying that, for Christmas 2012 I was, no doubt, one of the millions of people who received the new Kindle Fire HD as a gift. Studying a Masters in publishing, and wanting to start a career in the industry, I knew fully embracing ereading devices was something I would need to do.
Over the past year, I have worked on formatting ebooks during my internships and a lot of the work I have been involved in has all been digital, and I have really enjoyed it. The digital age is exciting and I like the fact that I am entering the industry at a time when anything could happen.
My thoughts on the Kindle Fire HD: I like being able to download any book at the touch of a button and also not having to worry about carrying around a heavy book. Not only that, it is easier to read when multi-tasking, for example, it can be awkward when trying to hold a book flat, turn pages and eat your lunch at the same time. Not only that, its feature as a tablet and being able to surf the internet is a great feature.
It is interesting to think how the Kindle Fire HD will evolve in the future. How will publishers and software developers will be able to make ebooks more interactive? And how will they finally master the art of putting illustrations into ebook files?
So, am I converted? Yes, although I still think digital publishing has quite a way to go. What about the issue with ebook pricing, for example? And will the debate over whether ebooks are owned, or simply borrowed/rented ever be resolved? I shall never stop buying physical books. And when you have been in an office all day looking at a computer screen, you don’t always want to look at one when you get home. Maybe one day ebooks will takeover, but for now I think they still have a very solid place on people’s bookshelves, and in their hearts.