Zach Zupancic

Zach Zupancic

Senior Designer, SolidWorks addict, AutoCAD zealot, Cyclist, Shade Tree Mechanic, & moderately tall. 

Look, Listen, Look; or Morals are Like Reading Books.

The upcoming Apple Tablet has stirred some bit of crazy debate amongst the peoples. Some think it is going to be amazing, others think it will be useless, and others are not even aware. The biggest draw that the tablet brings to me is that it is new technology and I must have it, but other than that... there isn’t much. In all reality the new apple tablet will be nothing more than a large iPod Touch. Since I already have an iPhone there is no real point in rushing to get one. The main aspect of the iTablet, which is what I will call it, that has brought about much discussion is its tie into reading. There has been somewhat of a push by Apple to get as many magazine companies as possible to start porting their publications over its operating system. For the reader it could mean instant access to those articles that we fall in love with, and the possibility of people actually buying magazines rather than perusing over them at the bookstore. Like the Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader the iTablet will probably also have a great eBook reader. So you could either pay $250 for a devoted eBook reader, or $600 (hopefully) for the iTablet with much more usability. If I were interested in an eBook reader would I wait and spend the extra money? If I wanted a NetBook would I opt for the iTablet? Yes on both accounts.

This brings me to the main aspect of this diatribe; morals are like reading a book. These days there are many ways of actually getting the words and plots of a book into your mind tank. You can: read them on paper (hardcover, or paperback), listen to them from an audiobook, or read them digitally (PDF, or eBook). And just like morals, some people will think that their way is the right way to do things.

There is some bit of romantics attached the reading of a hardcover/paperback book. As you carry it around with you it gains character and heart; both of which get battered and bruised, but always turn out for the best in the end. There is the smell of an older book that brings back memories of youth, or old people. The downfall is that in a world that is trying to go paperless, the book is not.

Audiobooks, like papered books, have a bit of tradition with them as well; possibly more. It can be attributed to the early days of civilization where wisdom and intelligence were passed by word-of-mouth rather than by paper. It can be taken even closer in your own lifespan from the stories that would be told amongst family and friends. But there is great downfall to this style of processing a book; the disconnect from society. In the case of the book and eBook, even though your eyes might be scanning lines, your ears are still open. So there is the subconscious appearance that you can still be conversed with. When you throw on those headphones you are shutting everything out. It is easier for me to start a conversation/ask a question to someone with their nose buried in a book rather than their ears muffled with sounds.

eBooks; go green and lose the romantics. Books are an investment not only in monetary terms, but also in the physical sense; all eBooks do is take up space on your hard drive. But like illegally downloaded music files, there is a chance that all they will do is sit there unopened and unread; only used to show off to that cute hipster girl. So while the possibility of thousands of unread eBooks may lie dormant for years, there is still the possibility that you will read one. After all a book read is better than a book not. The spread of free great literature (all literary documents made before copyrights are free… i.e. all of Shakespeare) is still the spread of great literature.

So which is best: the romantics of carrying a book around, the tradition of verbal stories via Audiobook, or the portability of eBooks? Does the portability and technological possibilities of the eBook/Audiobook out weight that of the book? Granted we all have our preferences, I like audiobooks because I can read a book and work at the same time. I feel that I remember books better if they are read to me. But which is better for me? Thankfully there is a series of books that I have on eBook, Audiobook, and on hardcover to see which I actually like the most; The Bourne Trilogy. Sure it isn’t the greatest literature of our time, but still pretty damn good. The first book will be in audiobook, second in hardcover, and the last in from an eBook via the iPhone. Should take me a bit of time to complete, but it will be interesting to see how they all fair against each other.

-till next time