When ‘Borders’ closed down in my local shopping mall a month before christmas last year I felt an unexplained sadness. It felt like a hero in my favourite book had fallen and I was at a loss for what to do. Then christmas came and I was the recipient of an iPad2, Borders who?

I am now host to a selection of books in my iBook library and carry them with me everyday, gone are the days of having to drag along heavy hard cover books, textbooks and inconvenient newspapers and welcome are the days of a stylish bag and svelte iPad by my side.

However, know matter how convenient this new mode of media consumption I do find myself longing for the days of snuggling up shielded from the cold, tea in one hand, book in the other and a couple of uninterrupted hours immersed in a good solid book. Which is why I am convinced that even with the creation of E-readers, print media will never die.

The creation of E-Readers has created waves in the way books can be read and distributed. Products like the kindle and iPad have changed the way in which content is perceived and have caused debates for the longevity of print media. Companies have begun bracing themselves for the consumer shift from print to online content with a number of them introducing having online content alongside their print media. Publishers understand that they need to move with the times and not get left behind as ‘they understand the need to serve customers the way the customer wants to be served’.

Now I agree that there are benefits to both items. E-readers provide fast instantaneous availability and accessibility to the consumer. Where as with print media the process is a more drawn out personalised process and in the end you may still have to wait a week for the book. The creation of the Apple store and Apps means you can acquire books and media for free or for as little as 99c and it is instantly downloaded. But with that it sends a message that the content has little significance and can be easily forgotten. The benefit of an E-reader is that it allows consumers the ability to choose and explore media without investing themselves or their money. They give you the opportunity to buy and read books you are interested in reading but not necessarily want to own.

There are books that I have downloaded that I would be interested in reading once but wouldn’t want to have for the rest of my life. There is still a market for print media as there is still a high interest in owning print media, especially in older generations, but still within younger generations too. There is a certain specialness to owning a book that inspires you or a book that you will read again and again. What would we have done if great writers like Shakespeare or Walt Whitman had just popped there writings onto an e-reader? We would probably be asking Shakespeare who? Whitman what?

Print media will never be fully eradicated it will forever be present it might just have to move to the side a bit to work symbiotically with online content.

Resource List:

‘Publishing’, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publishing> (read it all)

‘History of Printing’, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_printing> (particularly the early part, so you can skim the second half, but it’s all worth reading)

‘Open Publishing’, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_publishing> (skim—note the “controversy”)

‘Commons’, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commons> (very short)

Naughton, John (2010) ‘Publishers take note: the iPad is altering the very concept of a ‘book’ The Guardian, December 19, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/dec/19/ipad-publishing-kindle-books-apple>

Naughton, John (2009) ‘The original Big Brother is watching you on Amazon Kindle’ The Guardian, July 26, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jul/26/amazon-kindle-book-deletions>

National Public Radio (2010) ‘E-Book Boom Changes Book Selling And Publishing’, December 21, <http://www.npr.org/2010/12/21/132235154/e-book-boom-changes-book-selling-and-publishing>

Wortham, Jenna (2010) ‘Social Books Hopes to Make E-Reading Communal’, New York Times, November 11, <http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/social-books-hopes-to-make-e-reading-communal/>

Lacy, Sarah (2012) ‘Confessions of a Publisher: “We’re in Amazon’s Sights and They’re Going to Kill Us”’, pandodaily, January 26, <http://pandodaily.com/2012/01/17/confessions-of-a-publisher-were-in-amazons-sights-and-theyre-going-to-kill-us/>

Shatzkin, Mike (2012) ‘Some things that were true about publishing for decades aren’t true anymore’, The Idea Logical Company, January 12, <http://www.idealog.com/blog/some-things-that-were-trueaboutpublishing-for-decades-arent-true-anymore>

Schonfeld, Erick (2011) ‘How the Ipad Time Shifts Online Reading’, Techcrunch, February 4, <http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/04/ipad-shifts-reading/>

Kamdar, Sachin (2012) ‘Why Publishers are about to go Data Crazy’, Mediashift: Your Guide to the Digital Revolution, January 17, <http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2012/01/why-publishers-are-about-to-go-data-crazy017.html>

Miller, Justin (2011) ‘Turning the iPad into an Open, Offline Mapping Platform’, Mediashift: Your Guide to the Digital Revolution, January 21, <http://www.pbs.org/idealab/2011/01/turning-the-ipad-into-an-open-offline-mapping-platform020.html>

Bhaskar, Michael (2009) ‘E-books in Africa’, The Digitalist, May 28, <http://thedigitalist.net/?p=577>

Langeveld, Martin (2011) ‘Amazon enters the tablet battle: It’s all about the shopping’, Nieman Journalism Lab, September 29, <http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/09/amazon-enters-the-tablet-battle-its-all-about-shopping/>

Lehrer, Jonah (2010) ‘The Future of Reading’, Wired, September 8, <http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/09/the-future-of-reading-2>