Stop! Think right now how you are reading this. Is it on a computer or smart device? If so, then you are improving your literacy. EVERY time you read or write, you are improving. Many people chose not to read, but when they see a smart device it changes their perspective. I think that technology has gotten people interested in reading by allowing them to touch and hold these new devices. The smart devices are getting better and better. You can select almost any book. If you do not like a book, it is easy to try another one with little effort. Many people, who do not enjoy reading, think that holding an iPad is more fun and easy than a big book.
Some people prefer a book over an iPad and that is ok. Books are still around for them. The smart devices, like an iPad, are great for some people, especially for those people who might not pick up a regular book. This is a gain for the population’s literacy in general, because it not only allows book lovers to continue reading normally, it also encourages new groups of people to want to read. This is not a loss, it is a gain.
Another plus of electronic books on Kindles, Nooks, smart phones, tablets, etc is the advantages mentioned in the article, “Textbooks becoming history, vapor, dust…” is the ability to look up other information while reading. As the article pointed out, if you need to look up a definition or need an animated example or a tutorial, it is right there at the moment you need it. Textbooks are always up to date and so much cheaper, lighter and always with you. You can even highlight your electronic book and someone else can highlight something different in their copy on the same device. Even someone who likes to curl up with a paper book has to appreciate all that additional information.