E-book or “real” book?
From the reader’s perspective.
The Internet is very much like television in that it takes time away from other pursuits, provides entertainment and information, but in no way can compare with the warm, personal experience of reading a good book. This is not the only reason why the Internet will never replace books, for books provide the in-depth knowledge of a subject that sitting in front of a computer monitor cannot provide. We can download text from an Internet source, but the aesthetic quality of sheets of downloaded text leave much to be desired. A well-designed book enhances the reading experience.
The book is still the most compact and inexpensive means of conveying a dense amount of knowledgein a convenient package. The easy portability of the book is what makes it the most user-friendly format for knowledge ever invented.
Books provide a bridge to the past, to all of those who have gone before us and have left us the wisdom accumulated by their life experiences. Books have that magical ability to bring the past to life through the words of those who lived in years gone by.
Books are also companions in a way that the Internet can never be. The author speaks to us directly through the pages. We hear his or her voice. If the story is compelling, it will become part of our own mentalities and provide us with an experience which we will have had through the author. We will have known what it was like to survive a concentration camp, or live the life of a great actress or statesman or musician, or suffer climbing Mount Everest, or rejoice in making a great scientific discovery. Each of us has only one life to live, but we can vicariously live a great many other lives through books written by other human beings.
From the author’s perspective
Another important reason why the Internet will never replace books is because those who wish to become writers want to see their works permanently published as books – something you can hold, see, feel, skim through, and read at one’s leisure without the need for an electric current apart from a lamp. The writer may use the Internet in the course of researching a subject just as he may use a library for that purpose, but the end product will still be a book.
But will the Internet ever replace books? Not on your life.