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March 14, 2012



I warmly applaud this action from World reader. It may be quite evident, but education (and reading) is fundamental to build our world's future. Unfortunately, when in "Developing" countries education is a primary goal, it is not anymore in the West, which is "undeveloping".

Tools like Wikipedia are just wonderful, and I really mean it, but doesn't it have some drawbacks? I remember when I was a pupil, when I was asked to work on a subject; I had to go to the library, select few or more books… I had to make the compiling work myself. Now with Wikipedia, pupils/students just have to type the subject in the search field, and wait for the result… the only effort that has to be done is in case if an article is in another language only -> "Google-translate" it.

Doesn't this technology make us lazy? What are the risks in the long term when one sees that young adults (20-30 yo) already write professional emails like they SMS, when spelling mistakes are more and more widespread in medias or when we get information directly with no effort (and no double check) ?

How do you feel about using new technologies VS traditional ones?

Thank you.


a book doesn't need : battery (lithium), lead, gold, copper, etc.

a book doesn't breakdown.

Decreasing education levels scare me more than ecology, as without education there won't be any ecology.

Alan Moore

Thank you for your comments.

I use both analogue and digital but I and you am in the 1%. If this is the best way to provide universal access I am for it.

And I agree Baron95 that this is not only about Africa - but its a good place to start.

Vlad - I agree with your eco point but sadly books are so darn expensive in Africa it is impossible for people on 1 or 2 $$ a day to afford them - so what do you do?

Thank you for posting

Best - Alan


Hi Alan,

I agree that ebooks are a great idea, especially in Africa/Asia/any places where books aren't easily accessible, and in both of my posts, I don't deny it.

I just mean that books shouldn't be killed by an all-electronic world.

Electronics should help education - as it's done in that case in Africa, then I'm 100% for it - not destroy it, as we unfortunately witness it in the West.

We also know much about our past because our ancestors wrote books (or left drawings in cave).
What will happen if future generations, let's say in 1000 years can't open a PDF or an AZW format? Almost nobody is able to open an Epson PX-4 (1985 laptop) text file any more after all... that was only 27 years ago.

Electronic paper is very useful and cool, but to me it shouldn't replace 100% of printing as Baron95 suggests.



Paper = expensive = waste
In some part of the world, student book keep updated, meaning it's only could be use for 2-3 years, and can't be pass over to some other student.

With e-book, we can cut on the wasted paper/wood. and also can reach more student.

Could you imagine how much electricity you can save from a library if the whole collection is reduced into 1 server? (the electricity for light, AC/heater).


you misunderstand me; I'm not against e-books, I'm against a 100% e-books world, that's not the same.

Of course one ebook is better than a 10kg/22 pounds school bag.
Of course a hard disk takes less room than the thousands of books it can contain.
Of course it's better to download a book than to get it shipped.
Of course it's better to get newspapers and magazines updated in an electronic device than to get them, read them once and throw them out.

What concerns me is not the technology, but how it is used :

We get much more information than we can manage -> many studies show that people are more and more stressed.

People get too much information, so they tend to filter more, and know less. Ask a teenager about significant dates of WW2 for instance, and you'll see what I mean.

There is also another issue, which is more about feeling :

For example, I have all my music in my iPod. I can have it with me all the time, in car, in a plane, in a bus, at work... that's really neat. But with songs in my iPod, I don't have a booklet with pictures, with lyrics, with autographs, I don't have the gesture of taking the disk out of it sleeve/box.

Literature is an art, and art is about feelings, that's what shouldn't be forgotten.

So again, don't misread me please :
- ebooks, technology, etc. : COOL
- stress, information overload : UNCOOL
- Laziness : UNCOOL
- lack of feelings : UNCOOL.

do you understand me better now? Sorry if it's not clear, but English is not my prime language... and not even the second actually so it's hard for me to express myself precisely.



English is not my mother language too :)
and I understand you right before the last post :)

First of all,
I agree with you that reading a book from a book is easier to remember. Somehow I think that reading from a computer/tablet require more effort. I wonder how amazon e-ink feel? because I never had one. And btw, I also think that since e-ink already not popular, the company behind of e-ink should reduce their price, so that amazon can make a US$ 10 reader with e-ink.

Although I agree on part that reading from book have easier feeling on eye/brain, I disagree that student will benefit more with printed book. If the price of education book can be lowered (let say) 50%-90%, then the market will drove away the printed book.

Same as book, i also think that news paper, and magazine (byte, pc mag, etc) will be gone because the online version have the news faster than the printed version.

The market is the one that will make printed book to become a collectible item. Yes, I agree with you that some book would worth the value more in printed form. For example, if Tomi write a book about Nokia from beginning to its end, telling story about how it's success till it's end with elop, i will buy it in printed edition, and will find a way to one of tommy seminar and ask him to sign it for me. :)


+ 1 for the book about Nokia (with pictures of prototypes, little stories, picture of factories, etc.)

+ 1 for the rest too... we just have different ways to express it. By the way, I didn't say that students will benefit more with printed books, on the contrary one ebook is better than several printed ones (my school bags used to be 10-15kg+)

- 0.5 You won't put a Kindle to protect your cat-box or use it to serve fish'n'chips



My school back is also used to be as heavy as yours :).

I really wondering what's wrong with kindle with e-ink reader? can you shed a light? (Disclaimer, i never use kindle with the e-ink reader, i just read it on www that it's easier on eyes, and use a lot less electricity since it only need electricity to change the pixel, and doesn't need electricity at all to keep displaying the pixel.) If a some country government think that US$ 5 - 10 devices for children e-book that can be use from primary 1 up to high school graduation it would be cool. Because it's cheap, and let say (because it's backed by government) have cheap book for school, and easier to read.

Any way, Android is doing a great job, in India, the Aakash Android is a mere US$ 40, so maybe in 3-5 years android tablet with dual core might be retailed for US$ 60 - 80?


I can't tell you anything about e-ink. I don't have a Kindle as most books I read don't exist in e-version, but I see some people who have one in the bus, and that seems to be quite pleasant to use.

There is also an American watch company which manufactures watches using e-ink technology :

I don't know why e-ink isn't popular; it could be useful at airports (flights information displays), bus/train stations, traffic signs, and for many other stuff...

Maybe people want colour everywhere, and that's why they're less interested in it. It's a pity.

Mark Shoebridge

It is worth noting that Worldreader recently entered into an agreement with biNu which allows Worldreader books to be distributed on any regular mobile phone that have a data service. Last month biNu and Worldreader had over 100,00 readers of books. Most of which were using feature phones not high end smart phones with big screens.

By leveraging biNu, Worldreader's increases its reach and delivers locally authored content to those in country that may never see a local author's work.

With increased network coverage and high levels of mobile phone ownership, the mobile phone itself is an excellent mechanism for getting books into peoples hands. In the emerging markets of Africa and Asia if you only have a phone that is data enabled this is your primary access to the internet. Lets not forget the luxury of e-readers, home PCs and tablets are out of the reach of many.

In the Worldreader app, if a reader does not understand a word they can translate it using Google, or look it up in the online dictionary provided by Wordnik, or further investigate terms in Wikipedia and or do a Google search. Binu also provides social connectivity tools which allows readers to share comments and discussion on the books they've read.

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