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Getting Social With The Digital Reading Experience
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Do you remember the times when “downloading” a book meant nothing? By then you could only grab a paperback or hardcover from your bookshelf at home or in your local library. Like many of our activities today, reading a book was a personal and somewhat isolated experience. At your discretion, you could discuss with your family or friends the book you read. And you wouldn’t share your reading experience simultaneously.

The New Social Climate of Reading We are at the age of e-readers and e-books. A digital reading experience, on the contrary is different than navigating through the pages of a printed book. Digital reading is a form of connectedness. While reading an e-book bit by bit, you check your dictionary, compare your piece of reading with other stuff on the web, follow the links embedded in the text, “like” or “dislike” the first paragraph of a novel even before buying it and “save” a bookmark for later reading. E-books do not even have a fixed number of pages since it changes according to the font size you choose. In today’s hyper connected online world, your reading experience triggers e-waves in the digital universe. Go to Amazon, search for e-book titles of your choice. When you find one (it will be hundreds or even thousands to choose from), take a closer look at these titles, read the first paragraph, leave a comment, recommend this book after you read and liked it. With all these steps, you are part of an interactive experience and exert influence on the popularity of this e-book and the success of the author. Let’s go one step further: In a non-distant future, you will be able to give “proactive feedback” to an author of a novel about the plot development. Welcome to the world of a new kind of user generated content.

Can You Reverse This Trend? I believe that old style printed books will be around still for a long time. And with flexible print-on-demand options, a peaceful co-existence is possible for many more years. For readers who want the touch and smell of paper and ink will not change for the years to come. We need paper books also as promotional and motivational material, without downgrading the value of their content. Isn’t it good also for young digital generation to enter a bookstore and get inspiration from the colorful covers of printed books?

How to Handle our Memories I have a library of a couple of hundred books. Many of these books are a gift from friends or family members. These books are associated with memories and precious moments of life. Can you attach memories to e-books you download from Amazon or Barnes & Noble?


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