25 May 2010

WHY WE LOVE TO READ....

You can keep all your Digital book readers such as SONY'S E-READER and similar gadgets as call me old fashioned but to me there is nothing quite like the feel and smell of an actual book.

There has been a buzz however surrounding ETHER BOOKS since it launched at the London Book Fair last month.

Ether has created an iphone app that allows customers to download short stories onto their phones. HILARY MANTEL, whose work appears on the site, is all in favour, suggesting that Ether's publishing model can "reach new readers" and give short fiction a "new and different life."

Short-story collections are notoriously hard for publishers to sell. This way you can just pick out what you want like a music download. - Anna Goodall, The Independent (READ FULL ARTICLE).
Still not convinced though the fact that it may help up-and-coming authors get their short stories published does appeal.
Of much more interest to me was this short article in the Daily Telegraph.
Children have helped to create the first increase in library book borrowing for a decade, according to new figures.

A total of 310.8 million books were borrowed from libraries across the country in 2008 - 09, shows a report from The Chartered Institute Of Public and Accountancy (CIPFA). This is a one percent increase on the previous 12 months. The number of children's books borrowed increased 5 percent last year with 95.4 million taken out compared to 90.6 million the previous year.

But why do we so love our books and reading? A group of literary critics are to scan the brain to find out just why we love to read.

It is the cutting edge of literary studies, a rapidly expanding field that is blending scientific processes with the study of literature and other forms of fiction. Some have dubbed it "the science of reading" and it is shaking up one of the most impenetrable corners of academia - "neuro lit crit" is where it's at.

Later this year a group of 12 students in New England will be given a series of especially designed texts to read. Then they will be loaded into a hospital MRI machine and their brains scanned to map their neurological responses. - Paul Harris and Alison Flood, The Observer. (READ FULL ARTICLE)

19 comments:

Vivienne said...

I am a book girl, through and through. Not interested in ereaders or ireaders, just like my plain old books!

Bad Alice said...

The printing press was an enormous innovation. I think something of the enormity of that transition to print has entered our souls. If someone scanned my brain, I'm sure they would find that entering a bookstore or library decreases my blood pressure and releases some sort of feel-good chemicals into my bloodstream. Bookstores are heaven.

Still, I wouldn't say no to a Kindle. The appeal of having a lot of books at my fingertips and being able to switch back and forth without having to lug them all around appeals to me. I particularly like the idea of getting newspapers and magazines that way, they are so clutter-y. They don't smell as nice as books, either. :)

I do think electronic media is great for short stories. I have some friends in the blogosphere who circulate their stories this way, stories that probably wouldn't fit into a publisher's agenda.

Mary said...

I have a Kindle (loaded with a lot of books) but only 30% of my reading is from there. I still read paper books. I see advantages to both and am happy to have access to both.

Heather said...

The one reason I want an ebook reader:
I visit the Prairie Chicks Write Romance on the weekends, and they usually have an author as a guest blogger. Often the authors books are only available via ebooks, so I miss out on trying the books that really appeal to me. It would be nice to occasionally purchase their books and give them a try and a boost to their careers.

themethatisme said...

There is something very comforting about the feel of the paper in hand and the physical turning of a page which I'm not sure I could do without. I'll have a go of course if somebody cares to be very genrous at christmas...Matthew and I discussed these things last week and he felt that they are going to be significant and I'm sure that the generation who have grown up with the technology will be more comfortable with it. But will they have developed the passion for reading?

Jen said...

I prefer real books, too. Not only to read, but the Kindle doesn't look nearly as cool on a shelf.

Christiejolu said...

I love a real book myself but am finding myself having to buy an Ebook. The book I want is out of print and is over $200 the ebook is only $20!I think it is getting too easy to buy digital than actually buying a CD or a book...

Bad Alice said...

I think ebooks will be awesome for op works that no one wants to invest money in reprinting.

My daughter is looking forward to middle school, when her textbooks will be on a laptop. Her back pack is unbelievably heavy - and she's only in 4th grade. School textbooks on laptops and readers sound like an excellent use of the technology. Those things are heavy and, since the market demands lots of colorful photos and such, expensive.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

I love books about science and essays.
Hope you enjoy the rest of your day.
Hugs B xx

Kelly said...

I know lots of folks with Kindles and one with an iPad. If I traveled a lot I think I might enjoy having something like that, but for the most part I'm a real paper and ink kind of person. There's just something about the feel, smell, visual of a real book.

I said the same thing about vinyl records, too, and I now use my iPod almost exclusively. It's rare I put an LP on the turntable anymore.

GMR said...

You know I am totally there with you...I love books! It's just somehow easier to fall into the story, the magic, and the overall work you are reading when you have a copy in your hands and you turn the pages. Hard copy books will always come first for me. Regarding eReaders, I do actually have one (GASP!)..received it as a Christmas present. Now it doesn't get nearly as much use as my books, but I do use it from time to time. It's more like my back up book. It's for when I ran out of reading material with me, or when the book I'm reading doesn't fit in my purse and I simply must read right then...also for some classic books and back up copies. There's a time and place for them, but there's always a time and place for actual books. Great topic!

Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

oh, great post. I'm going to check out the iphone app. I do enjoy my Sony Reader for traveling but at home and work I prefer an actual book.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Hmm. Interesting.....But I've always thought a love to read was just, well, there. Not a part of science.

Jenners said...

I'm hooked on ebooks!!! Sorry! : )

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

It warms the cockles of my heart to hear library borrowing has gone up! Reading is one of the most important things we can do.

I'm not a huge fan of reading books online or on an ebook reader. I find it strangely claustrophobic and stressful! Ultimately there's no reason why ebook readers can't look and feel just like a paper book, but I suspect that's good few years off now. Maybe then I'll join the ebook revolution! :)

jason evans said...

We resisted and resisted, then broke down and got a Nook. I have to say that I like it more than I thought I would.

Dorte H said...

What a silly waste of time. We read because we can - and because the books are there! And I firmly believe that real readers will always prefer real books.

awitchtrying said...

I can see the appeal for the sake of portability but I couldn't live without books. I feel the same about music. When a band I love releases a download-only thing, I'm bummed out because I want the liner notes. I think we feel more of an attachment to things we can physically hold than we ever could to a file in our hard-drive.

Valerie said...

I will always prefer print books. But I do love my iPhone! After reading your mention of Ether, I downloaded their app which itself doesn't cost anything, but their short stories do incur a charge...varies depending on the story....so I'll probably use it only when I'm stuck somewhere with absolutely nothing to read.