The other day I saw a middle-aged gentleman in the F train who read a Kindle book. Holding the Kindle with one hand, he adjusted his glasses one time and then kept concentrating on his reading. There was no need of turning pages and putting a bookmark. If any, it was just scrolling and pushing buttons. It must be an unconventional or somewhat unfamiliar way of reading. Nonetheless, many people seem to welcome this new technology and enjoy it. Will this Kindle modify everybody’s way of reading in the near future? or will this Kindle make all paper books disappear?
Throughout the article “The Importance of Preserving Paper-based Artifacts”, Robert Bee repeatedly emphasized the necessity of paper documents. He pointed out that digitalized media have many foreseeable flaws, which might seriously damage our cultural inheritance, so traditional paper artifacts should be protected. First of all, I totally agree with his thought. I have no doubt that “books” represent the intellectual legacy of humankind and must be preserved for the future as it have been so far, even if highly developed new technology will emerge. I deeply thought about substitutes of paper artifacts and asked myself those Kindle questions above. And I suddenly realized that the important thing is not the media, but the preservation. In other words, it is not the matter of which media is superior to others, but the matter of how we can preserve and maintain our intellectual properties as identical as possible. It is too obvious that numerous innovative technologies will be ceaselessly produced, and we will adopt them and adapt to them in our ordinary lives as usual. Therefore, we need to concentrate on the contents’ originalities, no matter what media will be used. I love the scents that old books give off, I love the sounds that pages turning make, and I love the sense of touch that books give me through my hands. However, why not try reading an E-book, if it has an exactly same content and will be able to move me exactly the same?