E-Readers: A Megane-ko’s Vice

Special Note: Just as my previous entry was comprised of a “-pro techno- megane-ko” PoV, the following entry is written from a “-con techno- megane-ko” PoV. One could argue that reading done in any form is good enough if the writer is still making profit from other’s enjoyment, but I urge you to read this with my chosen target PoV direction in mind before commenting. Thank you.

_Ren’Ai_

So you think the Sony Reader, or any e-reader for that matter, is just what any book lover of any calibur needs in their life? Somehow I only see the Sony Reader causing more and more people to forget what puts the “joy” in “enjoyable reading.” This invisible pressure that weighs down our society for the sake of universal conveinence could very well change the way we value the availability of paperback books to the point of altering the methods of which books are published and marketed. Nevertheless, are products like the Sony Reader a danger, or a savior to the reading community? The latter paragraphs will explain my opinion of that important question.

Imagine this: A world in which the Sony Reader no longer exists because the technology used to develop such a fine-tuned e-reading experience that rivaled the production of paper & ink has opened the door to an even more portable, all-purpose e-reader. (That is essentially what has been taking place over the years, but I’m not done yet.) Due to an explosion of popularity of this wonderful e-reader, they have been systematically marked down to make them available to anyone who has a steady income. Users having to use the Internet to obtain e-books has become an choice, rather than a requirement. Bookstore owners now have sections or stations that enable an e-reader owner to link up via USB, rapidly search for whatever e-book the bookstore has in stock via their 256-color e-reader LCD screen, purchase the e-book via store cashier personell, and finally, by way of the wielding of superior technology, the cashier could upload a “key” to their e-reader that would bypass the security lock and BAM! In a matter of 3 minutes or less, depending if you are browsing or not, you have your e-book(s) to carry with you & read with a flick of a switch/button wherever you go. Meanwhile, the 1000 page novels that authors once published in paperback form lie on a shelf, occasionally dusted off in case an old-school book reader wishes to purchase for their collection.

I don’t know about how others may view the scenario I described, but that sort of world scares me to even talk about it. That world is a world in which we have lost the most prominent reason, other than sleeping, to not be in front of a screen all day: to read a book. Even then, we all have slept in front of a screen at some point in our lives. If a world like this did come into existence, we truly would be a society that never is free from the bondage of technology. Books are the source of freedom from the techno-age that we, as people, cannot afford to replace or let become an afterthought.

My refusal to disregard something like the Sony Reader as “convenient” confirms that I am just as guilty of nearly unconsciously conforming to the countless advents of technological “revolutions” that have occurred throughout the years of my existence. However, I remain steadfast in my unbridled belief that if we allow our lives to become incessantly dependent on “convenience,” to the point of not even wanting to open up a book, there is a severe problem. I am an aspiring writer, though I can’t say that I read books as often as I’d like, except the collection of manga (Japanese-style graphic novels) that I indulge in. I can say that I do more than enough reading of miscellaneous articles/reviews related to anime/manga publications and frivolous message board posts in front of my screen to not require a further need to subscribe to another practice such as e-reading.

Megane-ko and 20-20 persons, alike, could very well do without an e-reader as a “life associate.” Most individuals should make an dire effort to shy away from the many screens that hold them captive in this day and age as often as possible anyway. I include myself in that recommendation, but as one whose life and work has become so interconnected with my computer & the access to the World Wide Web, a dissociation from my flat screen monitor is a cumbersome request. This is why products related to the Sony Reader can be considered a megane-ko’s vice. If we allow ourselves to be drawn in by another flat screen, we allow ourselves to retain the experience of purchasing that intriguing novel or manga, but the lost tangible value and joy that comes from happily choosing that book off the shelf is, in my honest opinion, priceless.

– Please read this short blog entry of a published multi-genre novelist named Lynn Viehl whose words was an inspiration to me just with this one entry I happened upon. This further supports my opinion of how important books are in a society in which the writing industry is currently struggling to keep afloat.

// ::Meganekko-Tune Now Playing [ Mami Kawada – Shakugan No Shana OP Single: Hisoku No Sora – “another planet” ]:: \\

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