As a English Literature student, I have always held a slightly pretentious and snobbishly traditional view towards the 'craze' of the eBook; nothing will ever beat the satisfaction of holding a good, paper-back book. However, with the increase in appealing and impressive technology that support eBooks, such as the the Apple ipad and the Amazon Kindle Fire, especially with their access to the web and app accessibility, I can't help but be intrigued by the device!
The popularity of e-books can be obviously seen in the statistics. The Association of American Publishers reported that in the first quarter of 2012, adult eBook sales were up to $282.3 million while adult hardcover sales came to only $229.6 million. In last year's first quarter, hardcover sales accounted for $223 million sales while eBooks logged $220.4 million.
With my reluctance to embrace the new world of literature online, I have missed out on many of the advantages of the eBook. For a start, the availability and range of eBooks are staggering, with over 2 million being absolutely free. You are only limited by the memory capacity of your device; a tablet that you can hold in one hand is a lot less hassle than the impossibility of carrying around thousands of paper-back books. Furthermore, eBook websites can include the ability to translate books into many different languages, making the works available to speakers of languages not covered by printed translations. And best of all, while an eBook reader costs much more than one book, the electronic texts can be cheaper, and many of the classics are free.
There is also a kind of satisfaction, merging on an obsession, of collecting eBooks; once you start it is very hard to stop. They are easy to buy and download, as well as filling up your iPad with loads of thumbnails and interesting time-wasting buttons to press.
I believe that this is just the beginning of the eBook; it has a much greater and expansive live ahead of it. Of course traditional books will never die out (I hope at least not in my life time). It will evolve in unexpected ways just as the music industry has evolved and adapted. Its ease and convenience will make it an unstoppable phenomenon.