This post, by Adam Charles, originally appeared on iWriteReadRate on 3/16/11.
I sat in a bar a while ago talking with an old friend over a cold beer. As an Engineer his viewpoint on the various topics we talked about was rather different to my own. Whilst discussing widely publicised environmental issues his response was always that ‘technology would find the answer’. My standpoint was rather less definitive on the subject. Yes, I agreed, technology could play a key role, but it’s down to our choices – individually and collectively – to make any change a significant and lasting one.
My, perhaps tenuous, point here is that we’re at a real tipping point with technology in relation to how we consume literature and media in general. Technology revolutionises, it refines, it redraws traditional lines of consumption, disrupts our historical patterns of behaviour, it finds a way of improving the situation in whatever aspect of our lives that it touches, but only if we embrace it.
We can see so many recent examples of how Internet and communications technology has fundamentally altered how and when we interact with our friends (real and virtual), connect to the world, find and listen to music, and we’re beginning to see this rebirth happen with how we discover, purchase, and consume literature in every genre.
With the proliferation of devices capable of viewing and downloading content wherever we are – such as smart-phones, tablets and dedicated eReader platforms – the wind very much appears in the sails for a generational change in how we buy and consume books, how we experience literature in general. This is now reaching a point of market integration when it can no longer be considered in its infancy. The people are speaking and it’s now time to embrace the change.