Most book lovers have seen E-reader as a threat to the traditional book and literature. I think this conclusion is premature. I personally see E-reader and book complimenting each other. I believe in future books will continued to be published both in E-book and Print format, very much like how books have been published in Hardback and Paperback simultaneously.The two formats do not undercut but complement each other.
So, E-reader, harnessed correctly, will be a friend of writers, readers, publishing and literature. E-reader will maintain the glory of text. However, I am afraid, if we’re not careful the Death of E-Reader is Imminent. Below (in a comment posted on Esquire magazine’s blog) I discuss how E-reader can be saved from dying out and turning into a Multi-Media monster that will destroy reading for future generations.
The biggest plus point of e-readers is that you can carry tons of books without worrying about the space or weight. I have over 100 books (and increasing) loaded on my Kindle, but still I carry it around in my bag like a toy. As an emerging/ aspiring author who has self-published short fiction using KDP, I would like to see E-readers become more Reader-Friendly.
The biggest negative point of e-readers in my opinion is the small size of their screen. Remember that almost every book’s printed page is much bigger than the standard e-reader screen. It is just damn annoying having to frequently click pages to view more text in the tiny e-screen. No matter how sharper the contrast becomes, no matter how many Night-Glo bells and whistles are added, the small screen will always be a drag. It makes e-reader a very cheap and unfeasible imitation of the book experience.
Moreover, when you read a book there are TWO printed pages displayed before your eyes. In order to replicate the TWO page experience, e-readers will have to adopt a clamshell design– you open it up and there are two screens.
But I’m certain, just having a substantially larger single screen as the standard size can Revolutionize the e-reader. Actually, Amazon did venture into bigger screens with Kindle DX. Amazon had slated it as an e-reader more suitable for reading newspapers. But sadly, it never took off. I suppose– apart from DX’s low battery life–with all things digital, most peoples’ brains work in “Smaller is Better” mode. They would rather have a cute toy than a bigger version that may work better.
Besides, the companies that manufacture e-readers have got to make profit. They will design their e-readers with the “COOLNESS FACTOR”, so that maximum number of people will go and buy them. (Notice how most BUYERS (and supposed READERS) are now preferring Tablets over E-readers? Why? Well, Tablets can diplay colors and play videos!)
Amazon and others need to treat E-Reader as an exclusive device to serve people who actually read. Otherwise, E-Reader is sure to die out and be replaced by Tablets just because they sell better and do other things. Ask yourself, would you go and buy a book in a bookstore that could also play audio and video? No, that would only undermine the intimate reading experience.
Therefore, in order to save and resurrect the E-readers (with E-Ink displays) Amazon and others seriously need to invest more time and money to develop a viable BIG Screen E-reader with long battery life. This is what the Reading World truly needs in order to bridge the vast gap between the traditional Book and E-reader.