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Romance of reading without turning pages!

Gen next turning voracious readers, thanks to e-books galore on the world wide web, reports Pankaj Jaiswal.

business Updated: Nov 16, 2009 19:59 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal

Semi-conductors, ever since they were invented, have never stopped changing the world. And now they are altering the reading habits drastically.

So much so that these days more and more people read books without even turning pages!

Yes, in an unnoticeable manner, increasing number of people are getting into the habit of reading books without even picking them up — by way of world wide web (Internet). And many are turning voracious readers, thanks to the technology.

The youths have taken to the reading habit in such a way that any of the older generation may well have to eat his or her words if they say, “children these days don’t love reading. You know how many books I used to read when I was young. ”

Picture this: Sandeep Parekh, 21, is never without his copy of Emma—the Jane Austen novel written in the 19th century. “I have decided to read classics. And I am reading them one after another in quick succession on my mobile phone or laptop,” said Parekh.

There are innumerable websites that offer infinite number of books on all kinds of topics under the sun for you to download. All that one has to do is to turn on the Internet on your phone and look for websites that offer e-books, e-novels or cell phone-books. There are several sites that offer electronic books free of cost (there also are many pay sites where the downloading starts only after one pays through credit card).

Tara Chandra, 17, said: “The first book that I downloaded on my mobile phone was HG Wells’ ‘Time Machine’. I had heard that one could download books. But had not done it till one day I was travelling by road from Lucknow to Jaipur. I had enough of music both from the car’s music player and my mobile phone. Then the idea clicked in my mind to read something. I simple logged on to Internet and found several sites that offered free e-books. I zeroed in on a site and then selected this book. Rest of the journey was made memorable by Mr Wells.”

Reading through Internet is not just about enjoying fiction. People are reading newspapers, medical journals, research works, textbooks and notes for exams.

There’s a huge variety of e-books available on the Net — fiction, history, romance, biographies, mystery, mythology, comedy, satire, fantasy, memoir, philosophy, Sc-Fi, horror, health, sex et al.

It is not that electronic books were not available before. They were, but reading them was not easy on desktops. With laptops getting smaller and Internet phones becoming common, now the youth is finding reading books on Internet easier than reading them conventionally.