eBooks and Indie Books Might Be the Greatest Revolution Since Printing

Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of moveable type and the printing press, in the 15th Century, was the most revolutionary development (my opinion) in the history of technology, the history of communication, the history of everything.

Using moveable type, a printer created lines of words and sentences. Wikimedia Commons photo

Mr. Gutenberg could never have imagined offset printing, the printing revolution of the 20th Century, so he definitely would not understand or believe the advent of the eBook, which could be a defining revolution of the 21st Century.

After all the technological revolutions of my lifetime (** See “A Personal Perspective,” below), I do not understand — and can hardly believe — the sudden rise of the eBook. Nonetheless, this week I purchased my first eBook.

Just another stack of books. Wikimedia Commons photo

I had associated eBooks with the development of digital book readers, starting with Amazon’s Kindle. (The price of the Kindle has dropped like a rock as competitors emerged, putting the technology within reach of even frugal folks like me.) With a Kindle or one of its imitators, you can download books, newspapers, magazines, etc., and carry them around in a small, handheld device, to be read at will. Amazon boasts that the Kindle could hold a small library of books.     Continue reading