iBooks vs text books

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What these strangely irrelevant exuberances reaveal, I think, is that beyond the obvious differences of appearance, the real difference between paper texts and computer texts is not very clear. Does it even exist?

--Aarseth 17

A few years ago, I probably would've argued the case for there being a major difference between print media and digital media. I'll still argue that I prefer the look and feel of a book in my hands over reading a book on my laptop or even on my iPhone. I'm not ashamed to admit that I used to own a kindle, but had no use for it, because I prefer physical books. But, with the introduction of the Apple iPad, I'm starting to see the two blend together. I fear that society is slowly shying away from print media. Look at digital vs film photography. Film is almost obsolete at this point--and I'm not sure how far off print culture is, especially with the "green" movement.
I could argue that it's just not the same to not turn the page of the book I'm currently reading, but Apple's new iPad simulates that experience for you--as you swipe your fingers across the screen, you can control how fast the page turns. Pretty cool stuff. For those of you who are interested, here's a five minute video that illustrates how Apple's iBooks will function similarly to physical books.



Aside from the physical attributes to the iPad versus a physical books, I really can't see much difference. You still get the same out of the iPad as you would a physical book--maybe even more.
However, let me reflect briefly on what Aarseth had to say about some cybertext. I'd defnitely agree that not all online material is linear as a book would be. In EL 236, we read and created hypertext fiction and interactive fiction. Like Aarseth points out, the reader is a player rather than just a reader and she bares the consequences of her actions.

Having said that, I'm pretty excited to see what SHU can do with the iPad. As for me, I'll definitely use the iPad for some of my classes at least, but I still don't forsee myself fully transitioning over to eBook-world. Sorry.

3 Comments

david boo said:

thank you very much

Jessie, I agree with you about the print culture fading out and it does match the trend we have seen with photography too, but I think that the same thing that has happened with pictures will happen with books once the iPad becomes more common; and that is that people will stil value them and even cherish them but use the digital form because it is easier. I don't think they will ever be gone for good. Just kept in a different way.

Jessie Author Profile Page said:

I really hope you're right, Chelsea. I'd really hate to see physical books and photos disappear. I can't imagine a world where I can't open a book or flag pages. I really think the iBook is going to change the playing field though. I just saw an interesting youtube video the other day where the editor of Wired magazine showed what a digital version would be like. It's pretty amazing opportunities open up with this new media functions. I'm excited for the future, but a little frightened as well.

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