Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The extinction of books?



Have you heard? The book industry is a dead duck. Print books are a thing of the past and bookstores are going the way of the saber tooth tiger. Boy, I get tired of hearing all these depressing proclamations! Personally, I see some very positive things about this crazy industry so for what it’s worth, here is my two cents on the GOOD things happening for all you bibliophiles. 

#1) There are more books available now than ever before. Ebooks, print books, iBooks, fan fiction. You name it and you can find it. There is also that old fashioned invention called, The Library. A whole world of prints books (and now ebooks!) available for absolutely nothing. Could there be anything better? Yes, libraries have had to cut back hours and personnel, but they continue to thrive in communities all across the world. Go libraries! 

#2) Young folks are reading. I have witnessed my own teen specimens doing this. Yes, I know they’re spending plenty of time texting, Facebooking and the like, but they are also reading online content. Unlike my generation, these pups have grown up getting their information via the screen versus the written page. That doesn’t mean they don’t value reading, they just do it differently. I pick up my paperback, my youngest reaches for her device.

#3) Online reviews are tools to point you to (or away from) books before you fork over the dough. As someone whose books are constantly reviewed (by fans and haters alike) I have felt the agony and ecstasy of the review, but as a reader, I am happy to peruse a few commentaries on a book before I purchase. I don’t always allow reviews to color my decision to buy, but it’s nice to be able to feel the waters before the money leaves my pocket. 


So what do you think? Are there things you’ve noticed about the book biz that please or displease you? Do you tend to reach for a book or your iPad to get your reading fix?

10 comments:

  1. Hi, Dana! I hope paper books are not a thing of the past because reading that way in a cozy corner or under a tree is an experience almost apart from the content of the story. But I love my Kindle, too. I'm not at all offended by its electronic soul - I love that I always have the right book with me if I end up in a doctor's office, waiting. I don't know what's going to happen to the book business, but it's hard to imagine a time ever coming when people won't want to hunker down with a good story - whatever you're holding in your hand to deliver it to you.

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    1. Maybe the Kindle and the paperback are the perfect combination!

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  2. Dana, interesting. I just read an article from Buzzfeed that said hardcover sales are up for last year and ebook sales are down 4.3% from the year before. They didn't talk about mass market paperback, because they were wondering why the jump in hard cover books. They did think huge sales in certain books like 50 Shade or The Hunger Games can skew the general data for any given year. So I suppose this year it will be Divergent. I hope readers will find books to read no matter what they have to do to find them. I still prefer a book in my hand, but that could change if all I can find someday are e-versions.

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    1. Well for me personally, I rarely buy a hardcover just because of the expense. It's a lot to plunk down on one book unless I'm pretty sure it's going to be lifechanging!

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  3. I love books and I love my Kindle. Last night, a day late, my son and I started working on his social studies project: the Hopi Indians. We couldn't get to the library. Unfortunately, the kid books on the HOPI were not in Kindle, but we found two other books and both were under $2.00. This year, I also gave away all my RITA books to a church auction and bought the Kindle editions to judge. Cool, eh?
    Thing is, 100 years from now, if all we have are ebooks, history is lost. I still prefer a print book to a ebook.

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    1. That's cool that the Kindle can help out with that after hours research!

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  4. Dana, I use my Kindle for current books, and I buy books from my favorite era, the 40s from ebay. I love to hold one of those books, orange around the edges of the pages, a little musty smelling. I save them for a few minutes of reading here and there, but I keep them close by. :-) Nothing beats a Kindle for travel though. No more tossing out clothes to pack the books!

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    1. Yes, that's true. You can't beat a Kindle for travel!

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  5. Dana, I love holding and reading a paperback. It's physically more comfortable for me and I love the tangible 'history' a print book seems to possess...however, I did, out of necessity in this day and age, finally break down and buy a kindle fire just a few months ago. I have to admit it offers a lot in terms of convenience, although I still prefer reading paper. So I guess, as always, we have to mesh old and new. A little of each. Hopefully, libraries and print books will always be around though. I love them.

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  6. People will always read, that will never go away, so as long as they are reading, I don't care how lol. I'll keep writing! I prefer my paperbacks, so if they do eventually 'faze out', I will simply re-read the ones I already have:) I'm stubborn like that!

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