Websites have forced the average consumer to read far more than the pre-internet era could have possibly done. From grammatically broken comments on social media to research papers readily made available at just a tap of the screen, people have spent so much time reading that content structure has reduced significantly. Letter caps on Twitter posts and reduced word count in articles were altered to cater to the diminishing attention span of online readers. The digital age has just begun, but captivating novels are still releasing and users are still keen to slow down and absorb content traditionally. With the Kindle’s attempt to cleverly marry books and digital, it has become a direct competitor to the classic book, but how do they fare against each other and which one is better for you?
The Kindle’s Rise to Popularity
Amazon did not pioneer the concept of an e-reader (or e-book), but they certainly dominated the commercial market ever since they introduced the Kindle in 2007. The device was created solely for the purpose of reading e-novels which meant that its technology was specifically designed with the complete understanding that consumers would be looking at the Kindle’s screen for hours as anyone normally would with a regular book.
It’s no secret that overexposure to screens will damage the eyes if not moderated, however LED and LCD lights were avoided, and substituted with E-Ink. Despite what its name implies, E-Ink isn’t cutting-edge technology because of the way it emits texts on screen, but the entire “paper” interface altogether. Although pioneered in 1997, the Kindle has made sure that E-Ink can be used under extreme lighting conditions like harsh sunlight or even in dark places. By no means is this technology completely harmless for the eyes. Screen exposure regardless of the display system will emit blue light that can harm the eyes if overexposed, but Kindle goes out of its way to cause as little harm to readers as the latest technology available would allow.
The Kindle’s largest selling point by far is it’s convenience. With a massive selection of E-books made available on the Amazon store, consumers can simply buy anything they want on the portal and the novel will immediately become available on their devices. On top of that, a mere 8GB Kindle can house up to 2,750 e-books while the 32GB model can contain a whopping number of 22,000 E-books. The sheer storage capacity in this small device has made it the perfect travel companion. Flights with hand luggage weight restrictions or long train rides are where the device has proven to be a potential successor to physical books.
Can Physical Books Keep Up?
Generations of consumers who lived in the physical book era find that no technology can replace the experience of reading an actual book. From the scent of new pages to the texture of paper, physical books have been reliable for hundreds of years, but arguably have been relegated to a luxury these days. Attention spans have been depleting as consumers become more online dependent and allocating time to read for hours isn’t as easy of an option as it once was. One of the biggest upsides to books is how affordable they are compared to a kindle. For about $20, readers can pick up a book that could last weeks or even months if there are time constraints. Worrying about battery failure when unused or accidentally dropping it are not concerns for physical books at all. On the other extreme end of the spectrum, avid readers would enjoy the experience of flipping pages, bookmarking and getting lost in the text in a scenic area.
For those who don’t read often: If you’re under massive time constraints due to work or family life, a physical book could be the better choice. The price of a Kindle is certainly going to be too indulgent for how much it is being used for. A regular book is well worth your time if an hour is the maximum you could squeeze in a day.
For the frequent traveller: The Kindle is perfect for those who travel abundantly. Whether for work or leisure, the compact device saves you tons of weight that you’d have to lug around for hours on end. All it takes is a 2-minute purchase at the e-book store on Amazon for you to have new content to read wherever you are.
For the avid reader. This is all about preference. If you have dedicated time on your hands to sit by a lake, cafe or park to read for a few hours, both work effectively. If you need to detach from technology, a hardcopy is the way to go. If you want to juggle a few reading materials comfortably, go for the Kindle.
Source: United News of Bangladesh