Friday, February 18, 2011

Let's Keep Paper Books Alive

by June Shaw

Will Borders close all of its stores?

Let's hope not. And let's hope that more bookstores don't follow suit.

Borders seems to have various troubles, but certainly the rise of electronic books is a major cause of some of their stores closing. Almost weekly we hear of independent bookstores that once thrived closing their doors.

Thousands upon thousands of readers are not deciding they won't read books anymore. They are deciding to read those same books in various ways.

We are getting to experience an evolution in reading. When paperbacks first came out, skeptics said no one would read them. Paperbacks wouldn't catch on. They were flimsy and nowhere as nice as traditional books with hard covers.

The first book I sold was to an e-pub when e-publishing was fairly new. E-books were expected to become the next big thing. But few e-books sold then because devices were rare and expensive. Not many readers bought them.

It's taken awhile, but now e-books are changing readership, and any way we can reach readers is a good thing. Now our challenge is to make certain to keep books in paper alive. We want it all -- to read our books electronically and traditionally.

As publishers struggle to keep up with the evolution in reading, let's make certain we frequent brick and mortar stores. We need to keep them alive.


Susan Santangelo said...

I totally agree! Nothing can replace the feeling of holding a book in your hands. And I must confess, as my eyes get older (along with the rest of my body) I find it hard to read on a computer screen or Kindle for long stretches of time. Doesn't bother me nearly as much when I'm reading a printed book.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Print books are literally running us out of living space, so we each bought a Kindle and love them. You can enlarge the print on a Kindle and attach a small light source so that you can read anywhere. I like the idea of carrying around 100 or more books in my purse wherever I go.