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.