Last winter a group of avid readers including librarians, booksellers and authors met at the Nantucket Atheneum to explore the future of the book. While collectively reading Richard Darntonâ€™s The Case for Books, we hotly debated over tea and scones why reading a book matters and the pros and cons of e-books. We agreed that there is tremendous intrinsic value in reading a book for the experience demands full engagement of your imagination and carries the potential for transporting you to another place and time and transforming your view of world. Â We all love the sensory experience of reading a traditional book with the feel and smell of paper, the act of turning the page. We recognized that traditional books offer fixed authoritative text and information stability while also being convenient, resistant to damage and more eco-friendly by not requiring electricity! We liked many features of the e-book format: its rapid access to and compact storage of many books, custom tailoring of font size and brightness levels, and easy access to background information and interactive content. We see traditional books and e-books as co-existing comfortably within libraries and the marketplace.
We would love to hear from you about why reading matters to you and about traditional books vs. e-book experiences.