16 January, 2006

Embracing the Inevitable

Read this article and blog entry about the demise of books in the future. Seems such a odd premise to think people are not going to want to read books, even though they have for hundred of years.

Isn’t the whole debate just a matter of learning to embracing new media to support traditional practices? It really isn’t a choice of books or ebooks/no books, is it; it is more like the issue of choosing to watch a film in a cinema or on a DVD.

They will still continue to produce films even though there are some interesting developments in DVDs. Film studios and cinemas have rethink their marketing strategies. Having the price of a cinema ticket being half the cost of a DVD is just not acceptable to many film viewers any more.

Why can’t publishers and bookstores just embrace new possibilities of bringing books to readers in all sorts of formats (e.g. print, audio, electronic), instead of making doomsday predictions about the demise of books?

Take in point the new independent bookstore, Crockattpowell & Powell Booksellers in London. They obviously want to sell books in their store. To do this they have an attractive store in a good location and offer online services as well on their website. Yes, standard stuff you are saying. Yet, look at their blog: delightful. The blog is bound to be a great source of indirect advertising to sell some books.

I presume that if a good customer of theirs wishes for print material in another format (e.g. audio or electronic) they would do their best to serve them. They would still go on selling books though, wouldn’t they?

There is also the fact that people seem to underestimate how part of the whole reading experience is just simply the sensual pleasure of touching and smelling paper, as well the visual pleasure of good print.

Nothing will replace the joys of reading a nicely printed book.

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