Ebooks: Enter the Digital Revolution

Posted: October 23, 2010 in Digital Publishing
Tags: , , , , , , ,

As a publishing student, i find myself constantly debating with my peers over whether Digital is going to have the kind of impact on the publishing world as it did on the music world.

Ebooks are popping up all over the place now, but despite all the noise in the newspapers about how Ebooks are the next big thing, the concept hasn’t caught on just yet. When i questioned my friends about them, i wasn’t surprised that they aren’t willing to part with their traditional printed books yet, at least, not until the retail giants (like Amazon, Apple and so on) make a e-reader device which is affordable to the average person and which is a desirable product.

There is a constant argument over which is better: the traditional book, or the Ebook. Those fighting the Ebook’s corner say that it is one way of getting round the problem of taking a pile of books to read on holiday when you fly abroad, as all you need is an E-reader on which you can download as many books as you desire to take away with you, thus removing the added cost and stress of books taking up valuable luggage space.

Fair enough.

But for those printed book-lovers, the whole appeal of a book is being able to walk around a bookshop and look at the title and peek inside the cover, and then have the joy of taking it to the till to pay, and then diving into it as soon as you leave the shop. I can tell you, and i’m sure many will agree with me, nothing, i say NOTHING, beats the smell of a fresh new book (although old books can smell pretty great too!).

I personally can’t imagine losing such a wonderful piece of technology which has been around for what seems like forever! I don’t think the traditional book will give up without a fight!

One thing which makes me sad is that we have lost pretty much all of our national independant bookshops, with Waterstones being the only one left after Borders stopped trading recently. When i was younger, i loved nothing more than browsing through a library for books to read, and then when i started earning, i started browsing bookshops in my free time. Not much is better than losing yourself in a bookshop, looking for books. The best books are found through random browsing!

These days, the internet and supermarkets provide us with cheap books which are easily accessible, but somewhere along the line, someone is losing out on profit because these books are bought and sold so cheaply, mainly the poor author and the publishers forced to sell at low prices to make ends meet.

I have nothing against the conglomerates  and their cheap books, speaking as a poor student who is forced for financial reasons to buy cheaper products, but i have definitely found myself making an effort to buy more books from Waterstones recently! We need to ensure our little highstreet bookshops stay open and i urge anyone who loves books and bookshops to help support this!

Digital will indeed make everything much more easily accessible for those who need it, but until i can afford to buy an e-reader and ebooks i will be sticking to my beloved printed books!

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Comments
  1. Allegra says:

    I couldn’t agree more. How can anyone pass up on the joys of reading a real paper book? That woody smell, the sound of turning pages, the feel of the binding, and even the occasional unfortunate paper cut all contribute to the reading experience for me. Until e-readers are less costly, and unless they can somehow simulate these sensations, I just won’t buy into this piece of technology. The paper book has been good enough for mankind for more than half a century (the Gutenberg Bible, published in 1454 or ’55, was the first ever printed book); it’s plenty good enough for me.

  2. Amy Pirt says:

    Unfortunately, even the older generation, who I thought would remain immune to the lure of the ereader, have succumbed to the Kindle and its ilk. I really would be sad to see the printed book vanish forever. Surely not everything in this world has to br made from plastic or metal?

    Amy

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