Home Uncategorized A Bookworm’s Perspective on e-books

A Bookworm’s Perspective on e-books

by Nashata K.

Photo source: http://scottge.net

Welcome to the electronic era, where paperless reading took the world by storm with its first ever commercial emergence of Amazon’s Kindle in 2007. Safe to say, the release of the Kindle set the trend in motion for e-book readers.
With technology at the tips of our fingers, turning pages never seemed more convenient. Though the trend of reading e-books seem to be popular among Westerners, how do Malaysians feel about the phenomenon?

A few years ago, a press conference reported by The Malaysian Times  saw local publishers hopeful about turning Klang Valley into the ultimate e-book hub, spanning across the Pacific Asia region. Though little is known about the progress, perhaps more and more Malaysians would be convinced to drop the conventional book and opt for e-reading devises. That however, still largely depends on personal preferences.

What exactly is an e-book?

Photo source: http://goodereader.com

An e-book is an electronic version of a print book and can be read using a personal computer of using an e-book reader. An e-book reader can be a software application to be used on a computer or a book-sized tablet which main purpose is to be used as a reading devise. E-books can also be bought on CDs but the most popular method of getting an e-book is to buy a downloadable file from websites to be read on your chosen devise. An e-book can be downloaded into your devise in no less than 5 minutes. Popular models of e-readers are Kindle from Amazon and Nook from Barnes & Noble.

The joys of reading e-books are not just restricted to those who own Kindles, Nooks, or other e-readers. If you have a smartphone or tablet, you too can enjoy e-books downloaded from a retailer like Amazon and Kobo or a free e-book site like Project Gutenberg.

What makes reading an e-book seemingly more popular?

For one, the convenience of merely uploading reading materials into your devise without the hassle of scouting around physically in a bookstore. It’s hardly a problem when almost everyone now owns a smartphone or tablet. Then there’s space and storage – lots of free space that won’t be cluttered with all those books. In terms of mobility, e-books definitely take the cake – rather than lugging around that 500 page hardcover, a slim all-encompassing devise seems more practical. In terms of price, purchasing an e-book is a more inexpensive option as well.

Where can you purchase e-books?

There are several popular websites and apps from which you can purchase e-books from with the most famous one being Amazon.com. Amazon has a over 900,000 e-books and most of their bestsellers cost approximately RM45. Amazon uses their own format (AZW) which can be viewed using a Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Android, and the iPod Touch. Another common go-to for e-book lovers is Kobo, a global e-book store with over 2 million titles to choose from and with really good deals too. Kobo offers free applications for most Android and Apple devices so you can just run the Kobo Reader app in your devise and download your e-book directly within the software. Other e-book stores include Google Play Books which opened in Malaysia in 2013. With over 5 million titles, you have easy access to buy and download e-books to be read on your Android, iOS device or your browser.

My take on e-books

With today’s day and age, digital content is what most of us would opt for. As a teenager, I remember feeling extremely ecstatic about visiting bookstores. It was a ritual, a journey, a habit and a way of life. Spending ridiculous hours, making sure no isle was neglected, a book shop was the ultimate wonderland. In retrospect, it was almost magical – a book was never just a book. The smell, cover, print and overall feel completed the experience. Print books also emit more emotions: You knew when you were drawing closer to the end with each chapter folding behind you unlike the monotonous experience an e-book tends to give. In contrary to saving space, I relished the idea of growing my personal library and found comfort being amidst my collections.

That was a long time ago. My days of squandering in bookstores and libraries have lessened due to many factors but reading is still a big part of my life. Admittedly, e-books are a lot more time-saving and I do appreciate the practicality and convenience that comes with reading them. That isn’t to say I do not still pick up a good old-fashioned paper book every now and again for the sheer joy it brings. Ultimately, everyone has their own ideals of how their reading experience should be, and there is simply no right or wrong.

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