Can we find a word other than “book” as a descriptive for the digital version of glue-and-paper? The word “book” is way too loaded for those who profess a love of “that new book smell” and their reactionary hatred of digital delivery.
Print books and digital book are two completely different species. They don’t have to compete. They shouldn’t try to compete. Yes, the content is the same. Yes, the delivery system makes all the difference in the reading experience.
Consider the reading evolution:
Handhewn tablet → papyrus scroll → parchment leaves → illuminated manuscripts → Gutenberg Bible → mass market paperback → computer.
None of those are the same epistemologically or anatomically, so why is the progression to reading digitized text on a handheld device difficult to accept?
Just as a tablet is not a scroll, and a scroll is not an illuminated bundle of leaves, and an illuminated bundle of leaves is not a ream of paper saddlestitched and bound in leather. It is an electronic method of getting to text.
An ebook is not supposed to be like a printed book. Expecting it to be invites frustration on everybody’s part, and completely misses the point