BHUBANESWAR: The printed book will never die despite challenges from e-books as interest in reading is rooted in culture and the joy of handling it cannot be replaced by any other experience.
Despite challenges faced by the printed book, it will have another life because of the digital fatigue of readers, noted panelists observed during discussion on the topic ‘The printed book will never die’ on the concluding day of Odisha Literary Festival (OLF) organised by ‘The New Indian Express’ here.
Participating in the panel discussion, noted writer Pushpesh Pant said the printed book is here to stay as the joy of handling it cannot be replaced by a Kindle. There is a personal relationship between the owner and the book, Pant said and added that a person does not want to lose a book which he cherishes. “The intimate feeling one has by having a printed book cannot be replaced by an online book,” he said.
Pant said no house is complete without a library. In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, reading in houses revolved around one book like Ram Charit Manas or Hanuman Chalisa. Reading has certain sanctity and is a tradition which is passed on from one generation to the next, he said.
Delhi-based writer Shovon Chowdhury, however, said book is a way of telling stories. The manner in which technology is advancing, the ways of consuming a story will certainly change, he said.
Chowdhury said the issue is the attention span of a reader who does not want to go through more than 300 to 500 words now-a-days. He maintained that some people will stick to printed books but the online medium is growing. Everything depends on what people want and a tablet is very convenient to handle, he said. Chowdhury, however, maintained that the interest in e-books is not growing much and is stuck at a certain level.
Noted author Chandrahas Choudhury maintained that book is an experience in solitude. Books also have a social life which is very necessary, Choudhury said and added that the idea of a personal library has died because of the growth of digital books. He, however, said that a digital fatigue has set in and beyond this, there will be another life for the printed book. Describing book as a genius medium, he said its essential features have not changed during the last 500 to 600 years.
Author and script writer Satyarth Nayak, who moderated the session, said e-books, which dominate 30 per cent of the market, are now a declining fad. He, however, said reader is the winner as he has many options before him.