I wonder what many of us book lovers should be thinking of the news that Encyclopaedia Britannica, the 240-year-old reference, has decided to stop printing books and move the entire thing online.
I think we should celebrate. This an opportunity for all of to realize that a paper book doesn’t have any intrinsic value in itself. Printing was simply the best technology available at the time to transfer knowledge, thoughts and entertainment among people. That is no longer the case.
Of course we are not moving all books overnight to digital form. But we should have no doubts that eventually this is where we’re all heading. There will come a day when we all start feeling that paper books are relics of the past. Lumbering, inefficient and awkward, and many of us are already at that point.
Once you get into the ebook habit (and I’m not talking about reading on computer screen, which is simply uncomfortable, but of reading tablets like Kindles or iPads), you start realizing how odd, impractical and laborious your old ways were. I came to that realization once it took me less than a minute to download the Steve Jobs book and start reading it. I never looked back.
If you love books, you’ll be sad. But if you love reading, the future ahead is bright and exciting.