Posted in Key words indicating change

General Paper Essay : Does the book still have a future ?

Note : This essay was written by a JC1 student under timed conditions. Little editing has been done. This essay is open for discussion, and is not meant to be taken as the best answer to the question.


          There are still some lingering objects that have withstood the elapsing of time, a prominent and loved one being books. With the advancements in technology, the importance of tools and items we used to utilize in the past, has diminished and become insignificant. Not only are books able to possess sentimental value, they can also impart potent sentiments and perspectives to the readers after they have devoured and delved into the contents of the books. The advancements in technology and the invention of gadgets to update our lifestyles has caused many items to be eliminated, an inevitable question has arisen – ‘Does the book still have a future?’ I agree that the book has a future.

          Books have proven to not be ephemeral and they are evidently timeless as they have existed for an extremely long period of time. Even till today, the twentieth century, books still possess a loyal assembly of book enthusiasts throughout the world. The satisfaction of feeling the pages of the book, of highlighting our favourite verses, of opening the books a decade after you have first read them. These are the effects and nostalgia a book is able to elicit, the sentiments that inspire us to cherish its existence and keep them safe till the end of time as we know it. Books are incomparable to the easily eradicable ‘e-book’. The content of the book in the ‘kindle’ only exists as a document and it could easily vanish with the click of a mouse or the invasion of a virus. These documents cannot be passed down from generation to generation should the gadget spoil. Therefore, in comparison, real books seem to possess an eminence over the ‘kindle’ since they are more enduring and unfading.

          Technology might be able to make books extinct. An example of an invention that in due time blatantly replaced a more dated invention is the handphone. In the past, people used to use pagers and they were commonly seen, anxiously held by businessmen and the working class people. However with the advent of handphone, the ubiquitous sight of anxious grips on pagers dwindled into obscurity. Similarly, the invention of the ‘kindle’, a book reader by ‘Amazon’ which allows people who want to read books, to download a myriad of soft copy books online and afterwards stores them into the gadget, jeopardizes the longevity of the existence of books. This is because people might opt to purchase the kindle instead of books due to the convenience and efficiency it provides. The kindle has the ability to store several books at a go and thus readers would not required carrying the heavy load of books around when they go about their daily activities. The proliferation of this gravitation towards the kindle would cause the future of books to be bleak and eventually when there are only a meagre number of people left who actually want to read books, they might even cease to be produced and become only a memory of the past.

          The ‘kindle’ and the book might seemingly serve the same purpose and people might impetuously feel that the ‘kindle’ is obviously more convenient for usage and thus more desirable. However, like other gadgets the impulse of people to purchase it would fade in due time as they might soon feel that this presence of technology would slowly become a hindrance to the process of appreciating literature, of escaping into the boundless fantasy of books. If one were to carefully rationalise, an average person would have replaced his phones countless of times. Howbeit, when was the last time we bought a book to replace the old one? We can therefore infer from this evidence that books are more tolerant of men’s careless nature and thus would still be able to retain the support of men.

          Books are like the anecdotes of humanity, documenting our thoughts, sentiments and perceptions and it would not be the same if they were to exist as any other form. Technology would not be able to encapsulate the novelty of a book and hence would not garner support. Thus, I believe that books still have a future and would endure albeit the alternatives.


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