“So many books, so little time.” – Frank Zappa
Books are life of every people, life of past and future and life of the whole world. Without books, people will have hard time to share knowledge, to share experience and to share life. In fact, in world history, books became the weapon of authors to enlighten people to the true condition of the society, to show the cancer of the country and to portray the freedom that their countrymen were dreaming of. Books became the tool to spread religious belief and to extend the faith in the Creator. Books are everything. They are art, politics, religion, freedom and health. This is why there are many books compared to the number of authors; the number of ideas from one author can produce many books.
On the other side, time becomes the primary measure of how a person will spend his life, they tend to manage time and balance it. People make change and change brings them to a better life but sometimes daily life activities become complex, but people also tend to address this complexity, trying to maximize their life by maximizing time. But time becomes a constraint when it comes to how people prioritize things. This is where books come in.
Books become part of everyone’s life and, being a part of everyone’s life, they should fit into people’s time. This is the relation of book and time. They are both important in every person’s life but they have also both constraints as to how people will use and will manage them.
There are so many books around us but there is little time to read them because of the large number of working activities to sustain the life of people. We don’t need to read all the books but many people fails to finish even one book, what is the reason? The answer there is “no time”
But as to what I have said, people make change, change that can bring complexity and convenience. Technology as part of change can make books part of the busy life of everyone. Just in one click, the power of technology will give you the converted form of book, a digital form that anyone can hold anytime and anywhere. Just in one download, the constraint between time and books is already addressed.
Books can now be a part of the busy life of people so there is no reason to cease the ownership of books, maybe physically it will cease because technology arises but the ownership of book will not stop because it is part of our history, of our future.
I remembered my essay piece for a national contest, discussing what will be the part of printed books in the education of students in our country if e-books will be the primary source of sharing knowledge in our education system. My argument revolved around the capability of our system to adapt to this kind of new technology, it is a fight between traditional (printed books) versus modern (e-books) as to which is more useful, more convenient and will help to make incremental change in the quality of education.
If our country to make a way or have the capability to adapt to this change, I visualize that our education system in the future will be technological in nature, with online quizzes, meetings and classes and one part of it is having e-books. It is the digital form of printed books that in one download, you can read everything. I cannot deny the fact of the quality of this education if it is based in technology, provided that everyone is responsible in using it.
This is where the ownership will cease physically because people will choose e-books because of its convenience in their lives so printed books will not be part of people’s life in some instances because of these e-books.
The premise of ‘In the future, people will cease to own books‘ is not to address the whole part or nature of books but the ownership of them physically, because in near future, books will be digitally printed and presented.
But what will happen if the ownership of these printed books ceases and the e-books become the primary source of knowledge?
I wonder, what will be the concerns if in the near future, the ownership of books indeed physically ceases, would there be negative effects for the readers or would there be a need for adjustment in using new forms of books?
I cannot deny the advantage of using e-books in education and sharing their content but I try to neutralize the situation by saying ‘provided that everyone is responsible in using it’. I cannot also deny that there are people irresponsible in using technology and if it will happen these e-books will be affected. Quality of education and sharing of knowledge will also be affected.
Imagine that if what is written in a printed book is converted into e-books and in the process, there are errors that occur. And also try to imagine the copyright of authors, the crimes that will arise if people abuse the use of e-books, if their primary purpose is wealth rather than sharing what they have, this will lead to negative effects.
We are responsible for this transformation and for this change because we will be the primary affected and so too the future generations. We want better future, but creating this better future will need preparation. Going back to my essay article, I said that we need to be prepared and we should have the capability to adapt to this change. We should consider again the use of printed books as part of this transformation in the near future. There is a possibility that it will cease but for now, many of us prefer to use them for our own reasons but we should communicate to users of printed books and make them understand that these printed books will be part of a new digital age and being part of it, is to change to a digital form. This is not easy, there will be people who will criticize against this change but what is better is that we are aiming for the best result.
The issue is not ceasing ownership of books because that does not cover the whole presence of books; the true issue is the effect of ceasing ownership of printed books because of e-books. Constraints between time and books are already addressed by the use of technology and there will be a time or era when we will use digital books. The concern then will revolve around the effects of this digital era of books on the readers and future generations as part not only of education but of sharing knowledge, experience, life, arts or story of what are the contents of the books.
We should accept the possibility in the future that we will not use printed books because we will have e-books but we should be responsible as readers or e-readers if we are aiming for a better quality of sharing of the ideas behind the pages of books.
“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” – Madeleine L’Engle