Shopping online isn't a new discovery, but I never tire of receiving a book order through the mail. Every couple of months I stock up on reading material for my nightstand. It is a nice to know there is a good book waiting for me at the end of the day. And some evenings I look forward to turning in a bit early with a cup of tea so I can settle in with my latest book.
But soon the new e-readers will have their way with us all; oh yes! we will all read the latest novels on these little devices. Either Sony, Kobo or Kindle readers will catalogue our libraries for us. I am imagining the lovely quilted covers that I will sew for mine. Soon it will be one of the essential items that must go into my purse when leaving the house for work in the morning: wallet, sunglasses, cell-phone, car keys, cosmetic bag, lunch & my reader!
In order for a new gizmo to take the place of things we do, there has to be a merging of the 'everyday with the new technology' in order for it to take hold. This little technology must become a friendly, useful accessory, and once it does we will never imagine our lives without it. Kind of how I feel about my cell phone.
Sure I love the smell and touch of the printed page. Whether an old Grimm's fairy tales found at the second-hand book shop or that smell of a new magazine, but it can't escape our notice how much we already read online. I read more online than I ever read before.... I mean don't you ? I read news stories online, research, look up movie listings, directions or phone numbers all online.
I watch my favourite shows streamed online, I listen to my favourite radio stations online; don't even get me started on Facebook or my webmail. After buying my first laptop a few years ago, it went with me everywhere. It was open on the kitchen counter playing episodes of 'Heartland' while I peeled potatoes; I posted emails to friends on it before going to bed & listened to CBC radio while doing all other types of work, be it house-cleaning, cooking, sewing.
Essentially computer technology performs many everyday functions for me, and performs them in a very personal & friendly way. In ways that fit my life while at the same time giving me better options and choice. These lovely little e-readers will be the same. First they will seem novel (pun intended) then convenient and even fun, but once the notion of a large catalogue of reading material will now be available on a small, reader-friendly little device takes hold, there will be no turning back.
Does this mean that printed books will become obsolete? Probably not. The three dimensional quality of the physical book will never lose it's appeal. Much like the fun in going out to the movies. I mean sure we could watch videos at home, and even on a monster big screen, but don't you just love the smell of popcorn when entering the theatre?