Debating On UTV Bloomberg Techtree – eBooks vs Real Books

I was on TV last week!!

UTV Bloomberg has a show called Techtree, which is half an hour of entertaining clips and titbits relating to technology. I discovered it after I got interview by them about our Twitter group’s work at The Wall Project. The show has a slightly different format now and a new host, who’s a familiar face around the social media – Aalaap Ghag.

Each show has a debate of some sort, relating to technology. Last week’s debate was on real books versus ebooks, specifically Amazon’s Kindle ebook reader. Shakti Salgaokar spoke on behalf of the electronic medium while I supported the good ol’ fashioned paper-based book.

There were a number of interesting things that came up in the conversation – cost, convenience, durability, variety and additional features. In all honesty, I must say that Shakti’s Kindle had me hooked too. It’s a neat, lightweight device which looks very much like a grown-up iPod in its design. The additional features, that Shakti elaborated on, are great too (text-to-speech, dictionary). My stronghold in this argument is the cost factor. At around $250, the device doesn’t come cheap. Of course the cost is expected to go down and the recurring cost of ebooks is far less than the paper versions. However, I still can’t imagine that it will go down so far as to be a real alternative for the vast majority of the reading population. The cost barrier makes it very much a toy for the connoisseur.

I’m rather afraid the argument didn’t quite depict the above as convincingly for which I should blame Shakti’s superior debating skills and Aalaap’s biased refereeing (“The program is called Techtree, after all!”) ;-)!! I was quite amused to be described as ‘Ramya Pandyan, bookworm, @ideasmithy‘ and facing ‘Shakti Salgaokar, e-page turner, @shaaqT‘. All in all, it was fun, shooting for a TV show. It took over three hours of actual production (not counting the 45-odd minutes in make-up, discussion and preparation) and god alone knows how long of editing to end up in this 6 minute clip. Do watch!

14 thoughts on “Debating On UTV Bloomberg Techtree – eBooks vs Real Books

  1. Saw the entire debate. Very interesting.
    A couple of points to add to your debate:
    – Books have a re-sale value! This is cannot be done with e-books. Henece, real books way cheaper relatively.
    – Also, reading e-books can really strain your eye!

  2. Nothing can replace the joy of owning a book. There’s a different pleasure in holding the book in your hands, in feeling its weight, the smoothness of the jacket, the texture of the inner pages, the sharp paper edges of a new book, the softness of a dog-eared one and nothing, absolutely nothing can compensate for the smell πŸ™‚ the musty smell…that of an old-book…that of a new book.

    And I like to look at my library, books piled on top of each other, some neatly arranged…all happily co-existing in the small space of a book-shelf.

    I think for people who want to just to read, Kindle is a great gadget. For people like me, who love books and not just reading, kindle can never come close πŸ™‚

  3. Ramya,

    I enjoyed watching you face off on this topic and I have to say I prefer books to any electronic gadget. I can’t afford the gadget (805 shekels) and don’t want to worry about the battery it may need. Then there is the fact that books have been around since Gutenberg – the Kindle can be replaced by some other thingamajiggy – at only 1000 shekels!

    The anchor was definitely biased – bur on the other hand, it seemed as if his job is to sell electronic gadgets. And you were very articulate and clear in making your points. I enjoyed seeing you argue, and enjoyed listening to you.

    1. @Ruvy: I agree with all the things that you mentioned. And I think most of us are joint in our opinion that e-readers (at least for a really long time to come) will never be more than luxury toys for those who can afford them. They’re definitely not replacing books in any way. The program is about technology after all, so I guess it makes sense that they would lean in favour of the gadgets. Still, it was an interesting debate as well as a fun experience to be on TV! Thank you so much for watching! πŸ™‚

  4. Hi ramya

    i wld not mind owing a kindle but if u ask me my real prefrence wld be owning a whole lot of books, i belive kindle wls absolutely rob me of the pleasure of visiting a book store and browsing thru their collection. I had once opted for an online library but very soon realised that personal visits to book stores r much more fun than online shopping ….

    by the way babes u look beautiful and very articulate as usual..nice to c ramya in action again…

    1. @Smita: *HUGS* Your comment reminded me of old times and our conversations. You were always sensible and independent-minded, girl….and a real delight to know.

  5. I have just started to read books online..and I must add here that I quite enjoy it.
    The hassle of holding a heavy book..finding a place in your book shelf, etc gets taken care by the Kindle.

    And it is new technology, which will take us sometime to get used to. But it is definitely here to stay.

  6. Ramya,

    At Blogcritics there was a satirical article suggesting that Kindle, and its competitors, would become the de-facto editors and publishers of books, as now any fool with half a brain can self-publish with relatively little money. The trouble with technology is that it has CONSEQUENCES, which are often unforeseen and not even imagined by the inventors or developers.

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