Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Do We Really Need Books?

Reader at the WindowShould schools still be buying books? Is reading something online on a computer, or on a reader the same as sitting down with a book? Instead of replacing books in the book room, should we instead try to find online editions or invest in Amazon Kindle? Or is there something about holding a book in our hands that we should never give up?

Are books about to be something of the past? Should I give up my newspaper and read the news online? Instead of the sports page, should I visit NBA.com Instead of reading a magazine, should I just visit the website of T.H.E. Journal?

Adrien Sannier in his article Context to Core in Campus Technology says stop air conditioning the books! All the books in the world are already digitized! Change it (library) into a gathering place; a digital commons.

At my house, I have a spot by the window, with a lamp on the ledge, where you can often find me reading. After school it is usually a newspaper. Then I usually check out a magazine. Later in the evening, I often sit there reading a book--sometime fiction, sometimes nonfiction. If I am at home, more times than not, you can find me here reading. Do I want to give this up? Not in this lifetime.

What do you think? Should we give up books and go totally online? Or is there something special about books that we need to save and appreciate? Will there ever be a day with no books?
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31 comments:

Jennah Watters said...

I don't think books will every go away, and I don't think they'll ever become a rarity. But for some people, they will be used solely for "pleasure" reading. I, personally, hate reading from an actual newspaper. They're cumbersome, you end up with a giant stack of them, and I usually skip half of it anyway. And while I won't buy one until the price goes way down, I can vouch that reading on a Kindle really is just as nice as reading from a print book, so I wouldn't be against getting one of those eventually. But I'll still buy books.

Then I think - is buying a book instead of a Kindle text like buying a CD instead of an mp3? Because I haven't bought a CD in ages. The difference there I think is that the CD was still digital matter. A book is a bit different. (As many great, classic texts are available free on Gutenberg.org, I still buy the books.) But I guess we'll see!

Mr. McGuire said...

Jennah,

Thanks for the comments. How far away until we have Kindles in the classroom instead of books?

When we listen to music, the experience is the same regardless of the player, but there is just something about holding a book.

seth Roberts said...

I think we should keep books because what if your computer gets messed up. Or you spill some type of liquid on it then what if your computer shuts down and you loose your spot in a book you have page numbers and chapters.

trindi said...

I think that books will not be around because people hardily. I think that they should keep books around because on a rainy day it is boring. That is when I read. Or when I am bored. But I like to read so I think that they should keep books because schools probably could not afford computers in every class room for every students. I would rather have books.

sam.r said...

I would not want to lose books. I love to read. Its very relaxing. I would not want to read on computers all the time. It can make your eyes hurt if you look at a computer screen for very long. Plus a book is the best way to read. You can take books anywhere you go. If I didn't have books I would go mad. I do want to keep the books around.

Gabby L said...

I think there will be no books because there are to many technologies that copy books. One thing is that books should exist because some people find it complicating to copy and find where the books are in a computer. I think they should keep books because a lot of people like to read in a doctors room and you can't use technology in a doctors room. I hope they never get rid of books because then you can't make new books unless you no how to make books on a computer.

Dylan said...

No I do not think there will be a time with out books. books are classics. You can have all the fancy stuff but reading is something you use every day. and when you pass a sign you have to know how to read it or you might crash. You will not be able to write.

Lindsay Price said...

There is just such a specific feeling to curling up with a book, to being poured into the world of a book, that will never be replicated on the computer screen. So long as parents continue to read books to their children, I think we'll always have them.

Sarah B said...

I think that reading will go out with all this new technology in the world. Although schools should keep their books, just because everyone is using a brand new ''book'' does not mean the library or school should not keep their books. I personally love book, NOT the new hand held things! There is two places I read at home thats on the couch and in my room, and it would not be the same if I start to read from some hand held!

Cyranda H. said...

I would not want to lose books. The reason why I do not want to lose books is because the books that I read help me read more. I like to read but its not my favorite. I still think we should still have books in our life though because I like to learn.

peyton g said...

I am a Technology freak! To tell you the truth I would rather have a kindle. I think by the time I am in collage there will be no books. Why carry a bunch of books around when you could one hundred books in a kindle,I just don't understand it. I read on the computer alot more than on a book. Sometimes when I am on the computer to long my eyes will start to hurt or get tired. Does a Kindle have to special screen that you read on?

James Ebert said...

Having the new kindle would not be like a book at all you not have to turn the page when you get done with one you would just have to hit a button. But what if you have a picture book would the kindle show
the picture or not? The kindle sounds really nice but what if you don't have the money for one and can't
buy it then how are you going to read if books get took off the shelves. So yes we need to keep books for under payed people so they can read too.

lily w said...

Not ever will there be a time without books. The only time that I would live without books is when the earth explodes and slowly drifts into space. There are millions of reasons why computers will never replace books. Well I don't know about you but my eyes get kinda tired staring at screen for an hour reading something! Another reason would be computers are not portable! Yes, you can spend 350 dollars on an Amazon Kindle but why would you when books are much cheaper? Another reason would be computers waste energy,but books do not. Still, you could buy a Kindle that uses batteries but again books are still cheaper. So my point is computers and Kindle can not hold a candle to books.

Ryan V. said...

No I think that we shouldn't have books because books are old school and if we lose a book we often do not find it but with a Kindle we can carry lots of books and not lose it. The Kindle is a great solution to not losing our books and the Kindle is a great idea to carry our minutes in and we can read any book that we want but we should keep our books so if someone wants to read a old style book then they can. Some books cant be found on the internet but that does not mean that we cant find it in the library so when we cant find a book on the web we can go to a library. The library holds a lot of books and some cannot be found on the internet and some books are interesting also the books can be found on the computer in a place that we look for books all of the time. The school librarians can help us find books there. we can use the book room on the top level of our school and the books in the book room are interesting also we love books and technology.

corbit c said...

I think we should not have a Amazon Kindle. The reason is if you lose it you have loss all your books. But if you carry your book separate if you lose your math book you will still will have the rest of your books.

Paitaan W. said...

I do not think there would ever a time without books. I am saying that because if there was no books in the world and you go buy a computer and the next day it crashed and there was no more computers. I would think that people would need books then because you can't live on a computer the rest of your life. If I would not what to read a book and if someone tried to sell me a computer I would say no because I am smart to not read on a computer.

heather p. said...

I think that we do need books. I like to read and while every thing will be changing a book will always be the same. I think that is a good thing because books can take you to any place if you really like it. You sometimes like in my book feel like you are the sick one or the one that is getting hurt. When you are reading you can be any body. That is why I like to read. If we did not have book's we might not know like what is going on in the other places around the world. I mean with out books we might not have the things that we have now. When ever I want to go some were like to the other side of the world I can just get a book.

colin Hettinger said...

I think that books are important to people. because people who are blind can't read a Amazon Kindle. And like Dylan said books are classic like a news paper that you read every morning. If we did not read books then authors would lose there jobs. And with out books we could not be able to drive. I think that reading books would be better than a Kindle.

Christian W said...

I think that we should keep books because a book is something that has been around for along time, and do I want to spend $360.00 on a hand held book when I can go buy a book for a couple of bucks. Plus, a kindle takes up to much time to download a book. I think that the kindle is nice because it is hand held, but you have to think it probably runs on batteries which could go dead when your reading. I would get mad because I would have to quit reading and you would lose your page number. The amazon kindle is probably fragile which means you couldn't throw it in your backpack after you are done reading. The kindle is also bigger than most books. My eyes also start to hurt when I read on a computer for too long. You probably couldn't read for too long on the kindle because it would probably hurt your eyes just like a computer. I think that I will just keep reading books until there is no more.

rachaelj said...

Mr. McGuire, I think that Books are important to us. With out books we would not know anything about our past lives. Like how the Indians lived or our four fathers or even before that. Also that is where we get 99% of our knowledge in school! What if you where lost in a new town no cellphone service or anything. No GPS or nothing. All you have is a atlas? What is a atlas a BOOK!!! If you are always on a computer or a amazon Kendal #1. you are wasting electricity. #2. If you drop it then most likely it will break, then all your stuff will be gone. Never take my BOOKS away!

Randie West said...

Lily really means it about not living without books. We buy lots of books and a lot come from the library.She will read till the book is done. I think sometimes the books are to hard but she doesn't think so. Great Kid

Mr. McGuire said...

Randie,

I agree--one great kid! And her point is well taken, I can't imagine living without books either.

Seth Ref said...

Books are fun to read but some are boring. The one I am reading "stone fox" is one of the books that are fun and interesting. I recommend Stone Fox to any reader who likes interesting books.

Mr. McGuire said...

Seth,

Nothing is worse than a boring book. Nothing is better than an interesting and exciting book!

Colton said...

I think that we need books because books. I mean reading something online is not like reading a book. You might think that there will be a day that there is no books. But I know that books will stay forever. Theres always a new book in stores and there will always be more. You my think the future will be all high tech but I don't.

debrennersmith said...

I own a Kindle. I own 1000's of books. I see a place for both. It takes less than 10 seconds for a Kindle book to arrive on my Kindle. I travel a ton for work. Due to luggage weight restrictions, I decided to buy a Kindle. I bought one so I could read on planes, in airport, in hotels, and in between meetings. I actually read more due to the Kindle. I am a quick reader. It has not cut down on the books I buy. It is just one more avenue for book buying for me. Sometimes I buy professional books. Also, if the Kindle machine is lost, Amazon has the book list that was purchased so they will send the books to you again. They are on the purchasers account held on the computer. I back up my books on a SD chip and keep my chip at home too. I think the Kindle will save my college age children money and backs since they will be able to down load books to their Kindles instead of carrying around their books everywhere. I thought you might want to hear from a Kindle owner.

Mr. McGuire said...

Deb,

Thank you for sharing the other side of this discussion. I appreciate the first-hand view and information from a Kindle owner.

I can easily see the day when I will have a Kindle. I wonder about the availability of out of print books.

Hopefully Kindles will lead to the day when carrying a backpack full of books is a thing of the past. And for college students, no more buying expensive books, just to use for a few weeks.

Dave said...

Both have a place, but there are definitely ways that we still use old print ideas when newer technology would help:

Textbooks are expensive, heavy, don't always match what teachers want/need to teach, etc. It would be great to replace traditional textbooks with printed versions of open source books. Teachers/schools could adapt the open source books to match their learning objectives, then have a print shop print enough copies for each student to have their own that they can write in and keep. The cost would be lower, the books would be lighter, and the education quality would be higher -- why isn't this being done everywhere right now? (Sometimes it's not that we need to replace books with computers, it's that we can use computers to build better books)

One thing that prevents many uses of books from being replaced by laptops, tablets, and ebooks is the quality of electronic displays. Printed books are very high resolution and have had hundreds of years to develop and become easier to read. Electronic displays have plateaued in quality -- there really haven't been any serious improvements in quality or price in the past few years. The displays look pretty impressive and work great for light reading tasks, but most affordable computer monitors would still cause eye strain if you tried to use them to read for long periods of time. (If electronic displays start to improve again, then it might be more comfortable to read from them for a long time, and more people may be interested in reading ebooks.)

Mr. McGuire said...

Dave,

Thank you for the comments. I find your comment interesting about the difference in years of improvement (Printed books are very high resolution and have had hundreds of years to develop). What will electronic displays be like in ten or twenty years? This might make a huge difference in how we feel about reading a book on a screen.

Cat said...

Books will never be obsolete. They require no power source, they are extremely easy to navigate, and I can read them in the bathtub safely!

Ziadicarlo said...

Yes books are important there important because withour them we wouldnt have a good vocabulary and if i didnt have books i would be bored allll the time books are the one thing that keeps me bussy when im bored or need something too do i love books and id rather read a real book then read online spending too much time on the internet can cause your brain to loose cells where as reading a reall book makes it develope more. Read!!!