Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Death of the paperback?

Over the years have got used to the fact we are so far behind the rest of the world but sometimes am surprised by how little progress we seem to make in terms of awareness. Today a seemingly intelligent young man made a startling comment that nearly made me fall off my chair in shock. He claimed that although he realised people ordered books on line from Amazon it would never take off as people would always prefer to buy the physical book. This man did not even give credence to the fact that ebooks might be the way forward. He obviously had never heard of the Sony Reader or the Kindle and whilst he had heard about the I Pad he obviously had no idea there was an i Book app where you could download all the classics for free and buy tens of thousands more.
So what is it about the good old fashioned book that people in the CEE think is so indestructible and did people think the same thing about the record and then the CD? Certainly retailers in Central Europe believe the book store model still has legs as there seems to be no lack of larger than life all singing and dancing book stores. Admittedly they are more like entertainment centers than just pure book shops but even so the humble book store does exactly what it says on the tin - it sells books.For some people it's the physical action of flicking the pages, for others it's the smell of the paper or the look of the dust cover and have even heard it said that it makes some people feel intelligent to be surrounded by books!
What about me you might be wondering? I have fully embraced the digital age and am the owner of not only the Sony Reader, which,incidentally , have never read so many books in years but have also built up a not small virtual library on i Books. I love the fact that if I fall asleep I can easily find my place through the cunning help of auto bookmarking, I also love the fact that if I'm feeling my age I can increase the size of the print. Maybe if normal books had this facility I would not be as blind as a bat by now!
Time will tell on this debate (and I might even go out and put a bet on the outcome of this one) but one thing is for sure, no matter how we chose to do it people will always read and for that I am very grateful.
To bed now, time to read my free Winnie the Pooh e book!

1 comment:

  1. Agree in the case of reading digital books, but with art/photo/cookbooks I still like having a hard copy.


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