The Devaluing of Literature by the Digitization of Books

Digitization of books and how it is devaluing literature in its classic form.

The Devaluing of Literature by the Digitization of Books

The rise of e-books is something that is already impacting the world of literature. The digitization of books is devaluing literature because it is taking money out of the pocket of professional authors. It allows nonprofessionals to publish work at the same value as a professional, and also makes it to where you can buy a classic piece of literature for less than its worth. Though digital books are easily accessible and more affordable, they put a negative look on classic literature. In this digital world, we now live in, everything can be found and bought online. Not having to go out and wait in a line is appealing. However, thinking about this from an author’s perspective, e-books hurt their royalties. Buying a digital version is much cheaper than buying the hardcover or paperback book.

The first point of this argument is summed up in this quote from “Digitizing Books” by Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection.” Because the Internet is boundless, intangible, and not edited, you can never publish the definitive anything online.”(Gale 1) The point of this source is to cite how buying digital books online is not smart. The appeal of publishing an e-book is absolutely anyone can write absolutely anything and get it published online and sell it. This decreases the value of literature because of the unprofessional-ism.

Speaking of professionalism. E-books make it incredibly more difficult for the professional author. The article” Digitizing Books Devalues the Work of Professional Writers” by author Ewan Morrison speaks of the struggles this new format presents from a professional authors’ perspective. Though he is a little bias as he believes the rise of e-books has crippled his career, his perspective is a valuable outlook on this topic. The fact that one author feels this way makes it very likely others do. This fact makes it very likely that the idea of actually going to school to become a published author will most likely diminish in a few years. Most e-book authors did not study to be established writers but are now becoming that due to the insane amount of content they can self-publish.

All in all this topic is a current confession and debate. Whether you on the opposing or defending side of this argument, it can be agreed that the digitization of literature should be a topic of discussion. I believe that digitizing books is a concern because it is too accessible on both ends; it places the value of literature less than it should be. The digitization of books is devaluing literature because it is taking money out of the pocket of professional authors. It allows nonprofessionals to publish work at the same value as a professional, and also makes it to where you can buy a classic piece of literature for less than its worth. I hope that an audience of avid readers, writers, and lovers of literature will find this argument relative. I understand that digitizing books is a beneficial technology. The goal is to bring up how we should be careful not to forget about the importance of literature in its sincerest form.

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Logan J. Eccles
Logan J. Eccles
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