Sabtu, 08 September 2012

Children's Books Will Never Die

Page Turners In An Android World

It was really not that long ago, young kids would sit in classrooms, wearing uniforms, not talking, sitting straight, hairs cut, eyes wide, and minds on; reading ancient text books fearful of the ever watchful eye of their dark overlord guardian/teacher/mentor. To breathe a word out of line warranted violent abuse and to be late or not properly dressed resulted in hospitalisation. The idea of pageless books was mere science fiction.

To be an author was to drown one's self in whisky and cigarettes over a second hand typewriter looking out through a rain-soaked window contemplating the deepest chasm of human emotions. It was to lose sleep over characters, scrolling encyclopaedia-like adventure series'.

These were the days before kids could flip through online flip-books on their android whilst catching the bus to school, before stringing two clever sentences together on reddit made you a genius wordsmith and before sharing stories could be done with one simple click.

Children still crave adventure, kids still seek fiction, and fun, fantasy and escape from this world, but other means of obtaining such content have emerged from the muck in the same way God created Eve from the ribs of Adam. Media platforms never cease to expand, becoming ever smaller, ever faster and ever easier for us to simply zone out from reality. You can now even read flip-books for babies online.

Nonetheless, a peculiar phenomenon has bubbled to the surface of the shallow mindless future we call the present. Books, in particular children's books, have not only stayed the course. They have been swimming through the digital age as if on a cloud of immortality, taunting technology with the distinguished silence of a twice-bitten cow.

According to various online sources, sales of hard and soft cover fiction novels are holding strong against their electronic counterparts. And whilst e-books are famously known for being easier to access and cheaper, a majority of respondents agree that reading the actual physical copy of a book is far more pleasurable.

But why? Has digital reached its maximum infiltration into our lives? Are people retreating from the intrusion of e-spying? Or do people simply prefer the texture of ink and paper? The smell of new pages? The beauty of these questions is that each person will answer differently.

There will always be a place for digital books, taking on great easy-to-use platforms such as iPads and Kindles. Budding entreprenuers can even make extra pocket money selling other authors books via affiliate networks, allowing customers to bypass actual stores.

However the best place for a nose to be (according to most avid readers) will always be buried between the covers of a fresh smelling page turner of a tale. The product is the same, regardless of if it was purchased online or from a bookstore.

The Proof Is In The Pudding.

The exciting part about all this hoo-ha and ramble is that pieces of literary classic and fiction are not being lost, rather, preserved. Roald Dahl is still the king of telling weird wonderful and wacky adventures, newcomers to the scene such as J.K. Rowling are amassing fans worldwide through physical hardcopies of their stories.

As for the days of concentration camp schools, where education came second to discipline, will the opposite of our generation be paying for the switcheroo of the later and former in the future? That is for the hourglass. All that should be important is the smile on a kids face, lost in adventure.

Rob Towner lives with his wife Courtney somewhere on the East Coast of Australia. He writes books for children to read for free online at http://www.robtowner.com

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