World Book Day

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”
– Dr Seuss

World Book & Copyright day, also known as ‘International Day of the Book’ or ‘World Book Day’ is celebrated annually on 23rd April. It is observed by people in over 100 countries, in hundreds of voluntary organizations, schools, public bodies, professional groups and private businesses. Books, magazines, newspapers, journals, reports and other several media are considered as vectors of values and knowledge, as depositories of intangible heritage, as windows onto diversity of cultures, as sources of material wealth. On this occasion, we all pledge that the place of books and reading receives full recognition for the benefit of world that can claim to be truly learned in mind and in practice. But, with advance technology to support podcasting, Streaming video, online classes, blogs etc., books and other traditional sources may not be continued in near future. With variety of products available with faster technology, one can get access to electronic media anywhere, providing great amount of information and news at one’s finger-tips. With PDAs, light laptop, 1GB of wireless internet connection available, one may opt for accessing any kind of information in electronic form anytime anywhere.

New high-technology based solutions of accessing information and knowledge are preferred over traditional media when it comes to searching and updating information. As it is often observed, the printed articles are hard to correct. If any editing needs to be done, a new edition with correction needs to be published which is often time consuming and costly. Also, searching for information in book is often more cumbersome than searching in electronic content. With the use of any text editors or text programs, the words or phrases can be searched quickly. Even corrections are less costly than printed article.

Also, environmentalists may argue that the books are published on papers which often consume natural resources and affects the environment. Whereas, contents delivered through internet or any other electronic form does not harm the environment or forest. But, that may not be 100% true since a person hardly reads the book in purely electronic form. Many people may prefer to read the content on screen and take print-out of the interesting article(s) or information. Ironically, this practice wastes excessive paper and affects natural resources more than practice of reading books.

Accessing the technology anywhere and anytime, however, still comes with not only monitory costs but also costs to health. The technology is providing costlier means to access electronic media like e-books, website, blogs etc. For a person, it is impossible to stare at monitor for 2-3 hours and read the entire book or material on screen. Reading contents in electronic form strains eyes and affects person the health of the person. However, this is not the case with books. Books can be read any time and any where i.e., whether you are traveling or you are laying on your bed, and can be carried anywhere and in any conditions. You can read the books for hours and in your comfortable place. You read books at no additional expense like internet access charge, electricity bill etc. Also, books are one time investment. A person purchases a book once, reads the book several times and passes on to his/her friends and so on…

With all these benefits, books and other traditional paper-based sources are very safe, cheap and reliable source of information and knowledge even in today’s time. But, once technology advances to overcome these bottle-necks, traditional paper-based media will then be obsolete. Till then, let’s cherish our books and continue to celebrate such international day.

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