eReaders are like Twenty20 cricket

With the imminent arrival of the yet-to-be-named Apple eReader+ and some of the debate surrounding the introduction and use of eReaders, it might be useful to do a comparison. That eReaders are like Twenty20 cricket. For our lovely international readers, please look at this Wikipedia site describing cricket and the one describing Twenty20 cricket. It would take me weeks to try to explain and then it still probably would be nonsensical! But a quick comparison would be to imagine that a game of football (or basketball or ice hockey or baseball) went for five days and sometimes ended in a draw. Then someone invented a shortened version of the game  (Twenty20) that runs for a maximum of three hours, has no time outs and only a brief half time and has a guaranteed outcome. The scoring was high and quick and there was a lot of action. That’s the best way to think about this concept if you are a stranger to cricket.

Here we go:

  1. The younger generation love the format, but the content is still pretty much the same. That is you get twenty overs of cricket, it is still six balls per over, the same number of batsmen and fielders. The format of the new style cricket is appealing as the whole match takes less than three hours as opposed to five entire days. eReaders appeal to the younger generation who love gadgets and have grown up with them; they can’t remember life without mobile phones. The content will still be pretty much the same; Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter and Twilight will still contain the same number of words, the same story and the same themes and concepts. They may have some added extras, kind of like the extra number of boundaries hit during a Twenty20 game.
  2. Many traditionalists that support both cricket and reading are probably not keen on the new formats.
  3. Changemakers can see the appeal in the new formats. More younger people go to the Twenty20 cricket (just look at the attendance for the Victoria vs New South Wales match on Friday 15th January. Over 43,000 people for a non-finals game. Many of those attending may choose to play the game and to attend more traditional formats of the game. If many younger people use eReaders, then we should be joyful that they are reading; they are accessing books. They may then seek out the same or other books in other formats.
  4. Twenty20 cricket and eReaders may well be the saviours of two traditional pass times that could have become increasingly irrelevant for today’s fast paced, net savvy, want-it-now generation.
  5. You have to have either Pay TV (for the Twenty20 cricket) or an expensive eReader to access eBooks.
  6. The youth market find both new formats to be an exciting alternative to the traditional formats.
  7. I like all formats of cricket and books. All formats can appeal to some people and we need to be aware of what our students are thinking about this topic.

Any thoughts or other comparisons would be appreciated.

10 thoughts on “eReaders are like Twenty20 cricket

  1. The comparison was a joyful read. Though I think students would approve of them more if they are in colour and have moving graphics like gif files, mp4 or video files. Which maybe the next step since most allow auto books to played from them.

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  3. Twenty20 cricket is exciting and “now”, and it’s a great way of engaging non-core audiences, but I can guarantee that once it goes out of fashion, there will still be the same old cricket that’s stood the test of time. 😉

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  5. I am not a fan of cricket but the twenty20 is something I can handle. Likewise the eReaders. I do agree that the kids will always go for the latest gadget and technology – after all it is hardwired into them at birth. They cannot concieve of a world without all the gadgets and toys.

  6. Hi Judith
    As someone who likes to try out new technology and explore its application to school libraries, I’ve been absolutely untempted by eReaders to date and can understand the luke warm reception by most readers. I believe they’ve been driven by the publishers who’ve been desperate to get us to accept an inferior tool knowing that a quality reader is going to have to cost around $500.

    I love my iTouch and the many audio books and occasional ebook I access through it but have kept hold of my cash in anticipation of the iTouch big brother hinted for release in a few days. In fact the anticipation is building to excitement!! Will it come? What will it be? Will it be affordable? By all accounts it will be a game changer. Apple, as usual have proven themselves as better secret keepers (marketers) than my grandmother. Cheers Camilla

    • Thanks Camilla for your comment. I too have been waiting for something worthy and I think it is almost here. I also love my iPod touch is frankly quite amazing.

  7. Dear Judith,
    I love new technology – I’m fascinated by it and want to try out new ideas. I have to admit that I am looking forward to trying out the new Apple eReader+.

    However … I still remember those happy Saturday or Sunday afternoons when I walked to the cricket ground with my Dad. We sat on the hill and watched the game for hours. Sometimes Dad dozed off (after all, he had had a very busy working week).

    I also remember Saturday mornings when he took us to the public library to change out library books. This was an important part of our week. In the evenings, he read to us from the books which we had chosen. We took it in turns to sit on his lap. It was a wonderful, peaceful end to the day. We felt happy and secure.

    These are very happy memories but perhap they are related to a world gone by.

  8. Nice analogy. I am all for technologies that will encourage non-readers or reluctant readers to read because they identify with the new format. I can’t wait to see what Apple adds to the mix!
    With new technogies, there will always be those who resist it. I love reading, I love libraries and bookstores, I love the smell of a new book and the way it feels in my hands. Kids haven’t built those nostalgic memories about books yet. They will have their own connections to whatever they use to read. Most of us probably don’t miss using slates and chalk to write. And yet, when paper and pencil came on the scene, there were some who were lamenting the change.

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