E-books taking over ‘reading habits’

Umar Hayat

SRINAGAR

e-book

In an apparent shift in reading habits, e-books are seemingly replacing traditional book culture amongst the students of the valley. Most of the student fraternity find e-books useful than traditional paper binds.

E-books make the availability of study material just one click away—and that too, free of cost. But with convenience, a credibility crisis follows the information provided by digital books.

“Before the introduction of internet, seeking information was a hectic process,” says Hilal Ahmad, Journalism student at Kashmir University (KU). “We had to consult libraries and different books. E-books have helped and saved our time. We can now consult any book of different authors at home that too without paying much.”

Most of the students are now relying on the internet to read—and hardly, find time to consult paper books in libraries, which for them, is “hectic exercise and time consuming”.

Many believe student life has changed a lot by internet and e-books. Earlier, they say, students used to wander from place to place in search of book which pertain their needs and the topic which guides him. “If somehow, he was able to find, but the cost was too much that it was unaffordable for him to buy it,” says Adil Rasheed, Zoology Student at KU.

Online availability of material has changed student life—that too, for zero cost of money. And only thing student needs is just an internet connection.

But some students caution that the authentication and the creditability of the information from e-books and internet material cannot be trusted always. “This spoon-feeding of internet material has hampered the basic culture of reading,” says Shaista Ali, a college student at Srinagar’s MA Road. “Students no longer seek libraries or reference books in the first place.”

There is no denying of the fact that technology has changed our life, she continues, but the research and new innovations has affected a bit. “There is no assurance that the information loaded on web is genuine and research based,” she adds.

Academically it’s better to go and consult the books which are written after proper consultation and verified properly, advises Waseem Ahmad, Library Information student at KU: “Relying blindfolded on internet is surely not advisable.”

At the time when it is observed that e-books have hit the book buying and traditional reading habits, but some do not buy the notion.

“There is no affect on the libraries as such; it’s a wave of techno-phase,” says, Abdul Majid Baba, Chief Librarian Allama Iqbal Library. “If you look at this library [Allama Iqbal Library], rush of students keep pouring. Sometimes all seats remain occupied—such is the rush of book readers in this library.”

As experts continue to debate—weather internet and e-books have overtaken the traditional book culture or not, at the same time, some students still hold reading from paper books a real treasure.

“Everybody is talking about the technology and the internet around,” says Fida Aslam, undergraduate student at Government Degree College, Bemina. “Not only students but researchers are now ignoring the libraries—they too spend most of their time on the internet.”

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