Thursday, July 7, 2011

Controversy: ebooks or physical books?

Blogaholic Designs”=Two months ago, I posted a question on the Published Authors Network at LinkedIn. It was, I thought at the time, an innocuous enough question: "Ugly rumors have it that ereaders will soon replace physical books, and that because ereaders will soon have the capacity to 'check out' library books, libraries will go away, too; what think ye?"

Much to my surprise, this simple question kicked off a veritable firestorm of commentary which continues to this day! More to my surprise, the "discussion" of ebooks vs. physical books quickly deteriorated into a rather obnoxious spate of insults and name-calling. This was certainly not my intent. My intent was to spur an intellectually stimulating discussion of the merits and foibles of ereaders. Some commenters were thoughtful and added a layer of information to their own points of view. Others were just arrogant in their responses; they pooh-poohed the responses of others and interjected their own as if they had the very latest information and their answers were set in stone. Somehow, the "discussion" even ended up slopping over into a debate about evolution (I still can't figure out how that happened.), and even though I have posted a commentary here on my own blog on my views of evolution, I was stunned to see how many people have left absolutely no room in their philosophy for doubt or questions.

I know bloggers have strong opinions about things; that's one of the reasons we blog; however, I would like to see more courtesy and less knee-jerk haughtiness. You know who you are. Okay, now, let's all play nice.

By the way, have you never heard the joke: "70% of all statistics are made up on the spot." ?


Anonymous said...

Comments box = Pandora's box

Anonymous said...

Hey Joseph, just started following your blog. I did a similar post on my blog ("To 'e' or Not To 'e'"), but more of my personal dilemma when it came to my novel. It generated some great (and generally friendly) comments. Would hope you would check it out at It's a relatively new blog, so I would appreciate your support, as well. This week's post will be up tonight. Look forward to communicating with you.

Anonymous said...

p.s. Just say your facebook group on the column there. I hate the word "retard," too. As someone with a brother with Down Syndrome, it's very offensive. And as an English teacher, I won't let my students use it. I tell them that I'm sure they don't mean it as an insult to people with disabilities, but they need to be more intelligent in their word choice.

Caledonia Lass said...

Personally, I agree with you. I'm a little concerned about the fate of the actual book. Even though I am a book lover, I mean, I really LOVE the smell of a good book... I am still going to buy an ereader simply because there are so many ebooks out there that won't ever be a physical book. At least I don't think so.
But you know, what they say about opinions and well... nether regions. XD
But yes, people tend to be very close minded and only see things in black and white. Everyone who thinks they are anyone with a mind for technology will only cast out their regurgitated opinion of the future because they cannot see the grey of any ideal or situation. So sadly, you're going to get lots of people having pissing contests (forgive the phrase) all over your discussion. :(

jmrinaldo said...

My heartfelt thanks to you, pauldail. This has really become a "crusade" for my wife and me, and it is so heartening to find other likeminded souls out there. What a wonderful venue you have to discourage the use of this awful word! You are in my book of heroes!

jmrinaldo said...

Caledonia Lass, I'm afraid you are right about the "pissing" contests. I've already seen too much of that. I agree with you that many people are rigidly adhering to one view or the other, but I say, there's room for both!
Thanks for your reply.

jmrinaldo said...

Too true, anonymous!