An electronic book or eBook, a book published in digital form, consisting of text, images or both, readable on the flat-panel display of computers, smartphones or other electronic devices is gaining popularity among the new generation day by day. Modern digital publishing has facilitated the carrying of wholesome libraries inside the reader’s pocket. However, a good number of publishers are yet supporting the print version, they do not find any alternative to printing books.
Several stalls have appeared at the book fair, with the facilities of reading e-books. Young people are gathering more at those stalls. Among the stalls there are Sheiboi, Bengal Publication, Ekushey eBook, and many more. Talking to the officials of the e-book service provider organizations it was learned that most of the books can be read free of cost by downloading apps on smartphones. However, there are some special books for which readers may have to pay a certain amount.
Public relation officer of Sheiboi, Prasenjit Dev said, “We are offering the readers to read around 250 books through our apps. For this readers have to install the apps and register at our site for free. There are some special books for which readers have to pay.” As the publishing world has come a long way since Gutenberg introduced the printing press in the 15th century, at present, besides printing books, young people nowadays find eBook too. Publishers expressing their optimism said, there is no chance of duplication or piracy because of the government’s Information Technology laws.
Publisher of Protik Prokashoni, Noor E Protik, told Bangladesh Post, “This is positive for the future generation and country people who are living abroad. This allows readers to read books from anywhere at any time”. However, he also said, “Ebooks can never give the taste printed book do to readers. The very appearance of printed books attracts readers, unlike eBooks”.
Global statistics showed, people are becoming more receptive to eBooks: user penetration is currently 10.5 percent and it is expected to hit 11.8 percent by 2022. However, there is an eternal debate between book lovers who are more on the traditional side, enjoying the touch and feel of paper books, and those who appreciate the convenience eReaders provide.