Book Versus Pad

The globalization debate is evolving once again, this time though, taking the form of a classic Canadian foreign policy issue: the issue of our cultural identity.  The heart of the problem was the successful release of the iPad, which, as you may know, also acts as an eBook that can connect to iTunes for the ability to download electronic books online.  This new technology is worrying many, especially the Association of Canadian Publishers, who are afraid that this increased access to international booksellers could make it harder for Canadian independent publishers and writers to get their work out there.

It’s a complicated issue.  On one hand, the globalization of literature is a great thing.  It fosters competitive pricing, more access to books from around the world, and facilitates the international perspective on a wide range of issues.  On the other hand, all these things could threaten our Canadian identity, which from the onset is quite nebulous as it is.  More so, they could hinder the development of a culture that could bring everyone from coast to coast closer together.

The article here by Michael Geist of the Toronto star, goes into more detail. 

But at the end of the day, at least I, personally, would be willing to sacrifice a bit of my hard-earned money to know that somewhere in Canada, a fellow Canadian is getting his or her ideas published, and that the independent book stores I know and love will always be open for a visit.  Nothing replaces the joy of reading out of a nice, sturdy, good book.

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Andre Coronado is a UBC Political Science undergrad who is passionate about fighting homelessness, tinkering with statistics, and experimenting with food. He is an aspiring mountain climber and currently works part-time at Science World.

3 Responses to “Book Versus Pad”

  1. Nick Zarzycki

    Great post Andre. It seems this has been a concern for advocates of Canadian Literature for many years now (just check out the Quill and Quire every time some new advance in reading technology emerges). One line of thought that I’ve found particularly interesting is the idea that the only way to counter this shift (towards greater accessibility/focus on international literature) is for Canada to focus on producing more international bestsellers. Though I value the diversity and plurality of voices currently present in Canadian literature, I think an increased focus on promoting the work of a select few Canadian authors abroad could have its positives too. Who knows, perhaps the iPad and the Kindle could result in a few more Margaret Atwoods.

  2. Tyler

    For me, it depends on what I’m reading. Escape fiction, I can read on a screen. But for things like literature or academic papers, it’s much easier for me to read in a physical form.

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