Obituary of the printed book premature
Now comes yet another story, this time in the New York Times about the impressive rebound of the printed book. With e-book sales soaring just four years ago, the prognosticators of doom declared printed books a vanishing breed. Indeed, at the time with book stores closing and printed book sales falling, the book industry was in a panic. But, as the Times notes: “. . . the digital apocalypse never arrived, or at least not on schedule. While analysts once predicted that e-books would overtake print by 2015, digital sales have instead slowed sharply.” Sales of dedicated e-reading gadgets have plummeted, with readers switching to their smartphones and tablets. Among the factors contributing to declining e-book performance has been the increased prices being charged for these “books.” In some cases, actual paperback books cost less than their electronic counterparts.
No, the digital book revolution isn’t dead, but then neither is the printed book! Though the Times doesn’t report it, I believe book readers who dabbled with e-books recognize the powerful allure actual printed books have. There has developed an e-book fatigue among readers. As I noted in an earlier blog, printed books are efficient means for transmitting large amounts of information quickly and easily. And, they are intimate, friends whom we literally take to bed with us.
Until later . . .