From monks hand writing religious scriptures, to the printing press of the early industrial era, to the mass production and consumption of the hardbacks and paperbacks with which we are familiar today. Books appeal to us across all literate cultures and ages. The printed word is a permanent and powerful thing. The physicality of owning books is a system to which we have grown accustomed. A home without a bookshelf is a rare thing. Personal ownership of books has been increasingly accessible to the masses (predominantly of the western world) as global mass production and global market targeted (including online) bookselling has driven the price of books down. Books can be heavy and cumbersome.
They can also have emotional and sentimental attachment and many end up lying idle on our shelves. We have to consider, is this the most sustainable way of managing literature and other texts in today’s increasingly tech-smart world? The electronic book or eBook would appear to be the next evolutionary step in information dissemination and sharing; a technological fix for our literary fixation. We already read on our computers and laptops, also in recent years on our Smartphones and iPads.
The eReader is creating a league of its own. This portable electronic device is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital books and periodicals. Its electronic paper technology is what sets it apart from other technologies capable of displaying eBooks (computers/iPads). This technology offers better readability on screen and longer battery life (Wiki, 2011). It is this technological difference that has fuelled an entire market for eReaders.