“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King
Books are considered to be the most beautiful gift to mankind. Books are a wonderful source of gaining knowledge and is popularly referred to as ‘Treasure of Knowledge’. April 23 every year is celebrated as “World Book and Copyright Day” to appreciate and glorify books, authors, editors and most importantly this day glorifies reading. The culture of writing books has been prevalent since ages when men started writing on the barks of trees, leaves of the papyrus plant which later was compiled into a book. In due course of time, with the coming of printing press, men started manufacturing books in large numbers.
Books in digital era
As the world is changing rapidly, we have entered into the digital age. In this period, things have changed drastically and so is reading and writing. Nowadays to read a book, we don’t really need pages but we can read from a screen. Numerous articles on any topic can be found online. Electronic formats like Amazon Kindle, PDFs, International Digital Publishing Forums, Open e-books etc has taken the place of traditional printed books. Despite technological advancements in the field of reading, that is, reading online, traditional books have not lost its significance.
Reasons for relevance of books in digital era
1. Books provides experience : Reading a book is an experience in itself because while reading, we get connected to the author, we can feel what the author is trying to convey. Reading books takes us to an imaginary world where at the end, all we get is a surreal experience.
2. Books contain real information : An author writes a book after he has done a detailed study on the area he is writing. Also, a book is published after thorough scrutinization by the concerned authorities. So in that case, we can rely on the information that we get from books.
3. Minimal distraction : When we read a book, it is just us and the book and there is nothing sort of external disturbances. But while reading online, we receive so many pop up advertisements, notifications from our social media accounts. If we are tempted by these distractions, we tend to lose the flow of reading.
4. Retention power : Everyone of us has different reading and memorising techniques. Some of us highlight the important texts with colourful pens, use our favourite bookmarks to keep a track on the last reading material, make our own tiny notes somewhere on the book and many such techniques to remember what we have read. Although many of such facilities are available when reading online yet traditional books tend to enhance our retaining capacity.
5. Limited health issues : Reading from a book have no major health related problems. Although many readers do complain about back pains and spondylitis yet health issues are serious when people engage themselves too much in online reading. Starring at the screens for a long time would cause severe headache, vision related problems, sleep disorientation and many others which would gradually affect health.
6. Not everybody has access to Internet : The picture of the rural areas can be drawn in this context. Many parts of the country is still fighting against illiteracy. In such a case, even if internet connection is provided to these people people, it would be of no use because they will not know how to make use of it. But if they are taught by a teacher with the help of books, they would be able to know how to read and write and also gain knowledge. Thus, books are a weapon to fight against illiteracy.
7. Permanence of books : We can keep books with us forever and even conserve it for our future generations to read. Libraries are the best example to highlight the permanence of books.
Libraries are still very important all over the world even in the digital age because we cannot find everything on the internet. The good, classic books written by famous writers long back are not uploaded on the internet. Library is the only place to find such books. The ambience of a library attract the readers to visit it often. We meet so many enthusiastic readers in the library and from them we can learn many new things. The environment of a library is so quiet and peaceful. The smell of the pages of the books, the sound of the pages being turned, whispering sounds of the readers and everything about a library is so wonderful. Although both libraries and internet are sources of information yet it cannot be denied that internet can never replace libraries.
Inter – relation between books and technology
Books and technology goes hand in hand in disseminating knowledge. We can make use of technology to promote books that enhances its relevance in this technology dominated era. Nowadays, we can order books online from various shopping portals which clearly reflects that the culture of reading is not yet vanished. Also, we have witnessed that many movies has been made where the storyline is adopted from books. For example, the Harry Potter series, the Twilight series, the movie 2 States and even the 2009 Bollywood blockbuster 3 idiots is taken from a book. In this way, technology is not replacing books but promoting the relevance of books.
Books really does wonders. An author takes quite a long time to write a book after making a thorough study and we as readers can gain the same information in a short span of time just by reading it. This is the magic of books. Books have always been and will always be an important tool for promoting knowledge.