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One can only collect a sizable number of paper books in a lifetime but one can collect entire troves of ebooks if so allowed. |
Ebooks are handy to carry and pass around and do not consume trees of papers which is kinder to plants and also animals.
Unlike paper books, the contents of ebooks may be searched by word although not by diagram or image so that one can integrate diverse content from different ebooks into a single collection of common themes if they so exist.
However the problem with ebooks is that they are hard to read and will dry eyes and increase risk of contracting cataract because of constant light from the computer. It is also hard to focus long on ebooks because it seems our brains are wired to three-dimensional objects like paper books whereas ebooks are two-dimensional flat-screen objects no matter how much 3D imaging effects you build into the e-readers. We can enjoy 2D movies only because they are moving objects; by the same argument we enjoy less ebooks because their pages are stationary 2D objects.
But ebooks are the trend everywhere in the world, even to patrons of large and well-equipped libraries.
The purpose of books, whether paper or electronic, is to convey information and knowledge so that we can analyze the past, know the present and intuit the future.
But to read, interpret, understand and absorb with view to apply can be a tedious task for too many. In today's e-mobile thumb-acculturated world, people tend to read sms and to whatsapp, wechat or email only; some like to twitter because their brain power is limited to only 140 characters maximum; anything beyond, they see issues as only black and white; mostly white.
Furthermore, the contents of knowledge depend on the styles of the author(s) who may not write with precision because they were not taught to think of others before thinking of themselves which may also explain why they can write because they have been able to focus in a narrow manner. If something is written terse, it may be a joy of no-frills precision for analysis but it can also leave behind holes of disconnect which cannot be easily filled unless one makes assumptions what the author means. Conversely if something is written with exuberance, it may also be a joy of emancipative creativity but it can also leave behind a surfeit of distortive elements requiring an equal measure of assumptive filtering.
Words, equations and diagrams are the only tools of content delivery... if only someone can invent thought waves that carry thoughts, equations and diagrams without the intervention of words straight into the brain, that would facilitate the process of knowledge acquisition and make the world a more learned conglomeration of cultured societies. Audio books carry only sounds of words and absorption of their content depends on the rates of reading and hearing what more understanding and remembering. You need a wifi-ed electromagnetic audio-visual brain machine to start the road to transhumanised AI.
Meanwhile, one can only collect these treasures of thoughts, whether paper or electronic.
What else is there in life? Pray tell, you have two minutes.