Internet vs. Books?
Here and there we can hear the question – what do you prefer, the Internet or books? The answers vary – the proponents of books usually tend to say that the Internet destroys the quality of knowledge and reading culture, that no website will ever be able to replace a good book. The advocates of the Internet state that books are boring and time-consuming, that no one in his right mind would read a chapter from a book if he can get the same information by entering a word into a search engine and read the results.
One thing baffles me about these arguments: what are, in fact, they about? Why it should be one thing or another thing? Don’t they see that the whole dispute is senseless? Aren’t there more and more books becoming available over the Internet with every passing year? Isn’t the majority of information that can be found on specialized websites based on materials extracted from books? Why these two notions have to oppose each other?
It may be true that the age of paper books is slowly, but inevitably comes to an end and in several decades paper books will only be used for decoration for the simple reason of being economically inefficient. But it wouldn’t mean that the books as an entity will be no more – they will simply go to a new stage of existence, turning into electronic texts in their majority. The Internet and books will go on further, hand in hand. And who knows, maybe even the Internet itself will be replaced by something new, something we cannot even conceive now but what will be completely natural when it comes?