Thursday, January 29, 2009

Booking Through Thursday...Electronic Vs Paper

Something a little different today–

First. Go read this great article from Time Magazine: Books Gone Wild: The Digital Age Reshapes Literature. (Well worth reading.)
Second. Stop and think about it for moment. Computers and digital media are changing everything we do these days, whether we realize it or not, and that includes our beloved books.

Tell us what you think. Do you have an ebook reader? Do you read ebooks on your computer? Do you hate the very thought? How do you feel about the fact that book publishing is changing and facing much the same existential dilemma as the music industry upon the creation of MP3s?

Whether we like it or not the publishing industry is changing. I don't blame publishing houses for cutting costs and trying to get the most for their money. Those are smart business decisions. But, I don't believe that "real" books will ever fall completely by the wayside either.

I don't necessarily have anything against the digital books, but I don't particularly enjoy them either. I don't own a Kindle, and don't plan on buying one. I can see the benefit of one if you traveled a lot, it would be much lighter to haul 10 books on a Kindle than 10 hardbacks. But, I like the feel of a book in my hands. I enjoy the different textures, colors and smells of actual books.

I think the option of inexpensive self publishing is one good thing to come out of the digital age. No, this won't always mean that every author will find the success of The Lace Reader, but I think that having the option available gives authors any way to have their voices heard.

I don't know what the answer is, and I don't see digital books going away, but I hope that publishers can find a happy middle ground between digital and printed books.
So, what do you think about ebooks?


Becky W. said...

LOL! You had to know I'd comment! I also like to hold a book in my hand on occasion, but I'm addicted to the simplicity of my Kindle! I like being able to read totally one handed, and not getting cramps in my hands and fingers! Looking forward to other readers' thoughts!

Melissa said...

Bec: I knew you would have something to say!