Do We Really Prefer E-Books?

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Here we go Darnton, I thought we were cool and I would be agreeing with you a lot more; this time I don't "No one can predict what will happen.  We can only read the terms of the settlement and guess about the future.  If Google makes available, at a reasonable price, the combined holdings of all major US libraries, who would not applaud?  Would we not prefer a world in which immense corpus of digitized books is accessible, even at a high price, to one in which it did not exist? (19) -- The Case For Books

I would certainly prefer one that does not exist!  I just don't see the attraction to constantly reading books online.  I will read books to get away from staring at my computer screen.  A whole book to read online?  Wouldn't your eyes glaze over and burn?  That's what my eyes do after spending some time working on papers but to just sit and stare at the screen cannot be a comfortable thing.  I wonder how many people just get e-books because it is the hip thing to do, or maybe so they have a backup of their favorite book.  I would do both of those things.  I would get the books to try them or I would get my favorite books online so I could read them anywhere.  It would be nice to see how many people primarily read only online.

I really didn't expect Darnton to be all about living in a world where every book that can ever be found is sitting on the deep hard-drives of Google.  Is that even reliable?  Obviously the computer geniuses out there rely on the computers of America and the technology all over the world, but there is still that fear that the stored information will just go missing someday; like drop off the face of the earth.  It would not be wise to consider online reading as the first source in reading because if libraries are going to start getting rid of books than where is our backup?  All in all, can we please take a pole of how many people would actually prefer this? I've clearly made my case.

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