I've always considered the printed book to be an excellent medium for transferring and assimilating information. Consequently I've been baffled in recent years when people have proposed replacing this technological marvel with some clumsy battery-powered device or, even worse, the computer screen. What's the point?
An article on the front page of the business section in today's New York Times entitled “Are Books Passé? Web Giants Envision the Next Chapter” (available online here) has convinced me that I've been wrong. Here's the passage that made me a convert to the new e-book readers:
Unlike the dim bulky devices of the past, the new hand-held readers actually improve the quality of the books they display. Works of history explore the past with greater precision; biographies are more penetrating; poetry is more stirring; and mathematics texts are more comprehensible. The process also works with fiction. “Even James Patterson novels now have real depth and vivid three-dimensional characters,” reports one analyst who has tried the new devices.
Better books: Now that's a concept I can appreciate!