Everyone has his or her own opinion about where the publishing industry is headed. Many worry books in print will fade much like cassette tapes and CDs. Bookstores like Barnes and Noble, Borders, and your local Indie store may soon start closing their doors like the many movie distributors in your town. It’s not a secret that Blockbusters and Hollywood videos are being shoved out of business by the invisible yet convenient workings of Netflix. I can’t see bookstores closing yet, but that doesn’t mean it’s not right around the corner. Especially when news like this is released and spread across the internet like wildfire:
According to Entertainment Weekly via Amazon, there are more ebooks being sold on Amazon.com than trade paperback or hardcover.
The debate about ereaders and ebooks goes on and on. I understand the benefits of Kindle or iPad, I do. Sometimes I wish I could instantly order a book with the touch of my finger. As my bookshelf grows I understand that I’m going to need to get rid of some of my favorite stories. I’ll need to let go of those heroes and heroines that have captured my heart. There simply isn’t enough room to keep them all. And, yes, I have to admit when vacations roll around it’s a pain to lug around all the books I plan on reading.
But another part of me is sad that someday soon ebooks will become the vast majority. There is nothing more exciting for me than walking through a book store, ogling all the beautiful covers, skimming over backcovers, replacing some contenders, then finally plucking the one special read that captures my interest. When I bend back the binding I’m whisked away to a different place by the crisp smell of new glue and paper. Ebooks, with their convenience and cost-efficiency, have nothing on the experience of reading a new book. It’s like the whole reading experience changes when your hands touch the paper and your fingers flick the pages.
I feel like it’s just me in this lightning-speed publishing industry.
Change is inevitable–I get it. We’re heading into uncharted territory where even the price of ebooks is up for debate right now. But everyone knows where the exploration is headed. We know that the techno-savvy generation behind us isn’t going to value the written word like we do. What’s uncharted for us will be second-nature for them. And, sadly, this brave new world is going to miss some things. Or maybe I’m going to miss some things.
Am I the only one desperately holding onto the books on my shelf, refusing to buy an ereader?