Video: Consumers Divided on E-Books

The following video report was a collaborative effort of the News Literacy Project, De La Salle journalism students Bianca, Alma and Megan and NLP journalist fellow Kristina Budelis of The New Yorker.

Consumers Divided on E-Books from De La Salle Academy on Vimeo.

James Temos is a former book store manager who now sells books on the street.

“I used to actually manage a bookstore, but it got driven out of business by the Internet and Amazon, street traffic died and the prices changed, so what I do is I sell books on the street. This is my bookstore,” said Temos.

He blames the availability and lower price tags of e-books and according to Amazon’s statistics, he may be right. More than 1 million e-books are available in the Kindle store.

“If you really want to have something portable, you got it. But, I think people are growing up on e-books,” said Temos. “Textbooks are e-books now, you know. It’s a lot cheaper. That makes a lot more sense, you know. You pay $100 for a textbook that’s outdated next year – it makes no sense.”

What is bad for book sellers may be good for readers.

Lisa Wang, a De La Salle Academy student, pictures a future dominated by e-books.

“I can imagine a world where we all read e-books and then we keep the regular books for historical uses,” said Want. “Because technology is making everything more efficient, technology will replace all the traditional things that we used to do by hand.”

Many readers enjoy the fact that thousands of books can be stored in one small portable device.

“I like Classics. I like Latin, Greek and it revives all the things because they’re all accessible,” said Hernando Hipolito, a teacher at De La Salle Academy, of e-books. “Before we had to carry these books. To me, they’re like deadly weapons, because they’re really heavy and you feel like the Hunchback of Notre Dame when you put them in your bag.”

Though many enjoy e-books, others prefer the feel of traditional books. Frangell, a young man we met on the street, who declined to give his last name, said he tried e-books, but they weren’t for him.

“I missed holding hundreds of thousands of pages’ worth in my hands,” he said. “I missed just kind of the feeling and turning of each page.”

Temos, the bookseller, also believes that there are reasons for printed books to stay around a while longer.

“As far as artwork, photography, the pixilated image doesn’t come close to the printed page, so those will be here for a while at least until technology catches up,” he said.

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Categories: Man on the Street, Video & Audio Projects

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