Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Amazing Thing About Paper Books

I love my Nook. Without a doubt, I read more ebooks than physical books now. I'm thrilled that books are reaching a wider audience, and that the written word has different formats that appeal to different reading styles.

But there's something about a book in my hands and on my shelves. I found this video at FUTUReBOOK and it completely delighted me.

It's incredible. I can't imagine the time it took to make that video.

I don't know what's going to become of the industry, but I do feel strongly that paper books aren't going to go away. When photography changed the world, it didn't stop people from wanting artwork; nor did movies put an end to live theater, or records stop people from going to concerts.

Some people may never watch a play, or hang a piece of artwork or listen to live music, and yes, some people may never buy physical books, but there are rather a lot of us who like that sort of thing.

I couldn't be happier with my ereader, but my home would feel colder, and sadder, and lacking, without books lining my shelves.

For the record, I dislike the term "real books" even though I accidentally use it sometimes. Ebooks are just as real as paper books. And lastly, I'll share with you the absurd vision I have now, of paper books, strolling through a shady park while their impish ereader children race around like they've had too much sugar. I don't know what to make of that thought. So silly!


  1. Hubby bought me a Kindle Fire for Christmas. But I do love books and would find it strange if they weren't any in the house.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. I think the industry is going to go to PoD -- paper books will be more expensive (relatively speaking -- no more mass market paperbacks, all trades instead, which we're already seeing anyway), but absolutely still available to anyone who wants them. Amazon already has the infrastructure to support PoD through createspace, and I'm wondering if publishers are going to pass the printing off to the retailers as time goes on.

  3. Hi Ladonna, I totally agree. Having both is the best!

    Amalia, I think you're right, but it'll take a lot longer than people think. But I disagree about mass market paperbacks, actually. I think those will be the last holdout, since they're so often an impulse buy and so much cheaper than trade or hardcover. Much like magazines and tabloids at the supermarket, something about the cover catches a person's eye. I suppose we shall see.

  4. But they are already losing sales and publishers aren't publishing mass markets the way they used to-- now instead of going to mass market, books are going to trade paperback, and the ebook, I think, is taking over the mass market um, market, for impulse buys. Just think how many ebooks you bought on impulse that are sitting in your nook waiting to be read already :D

  5. That is so so so true! I impulse buy on my Nook now. And if I THINK about it... people who are contrary about ereaders will be forced to pay for trade and hardcover even, because that's how strongly they feel about not buying an ereader. Even big name romance novels are going trade. As usual, Amalia, you make me think about things in a different way. I love our discussions!! <3 <3

  6. I've only been noticing the shift to trade because I keep looking for books and ONLY finding trades when I want Mass Markets. I was a BIG mass market buyer. They fit better on my bookshelves and took up less space and are so much easier to transport. But you just cannot find them anymore. EVERYTHING in YA goes from hardcover to trade, now. I haven't seen a mass market YA come out in YEARS. The only place I think we are still seeing mass market is romance and maybe scifi/fantasy. Even Middle Grade! Percy Jackson did not ever come out in mass market that I found. It went to trade instead. I think Romance will be the biggest hold out -- but maybe I'm wrong, because with an ereader, people can read romance novels without any of the shame of the ripped bodice covers.

  7. Yes, my thoughts went to romance as well. I find myself exclusively buying my romance on my Nook now. I've blogged about the stigma attached to romance novels, and friends commenting on romance novels on my bookshelf. I think people who don't want to hear any of it will find a lot of freedom in buying romance through their ereaders.

    Time will tell, but what you're saying makes so much sense. I don't mind the idea of the world going PoD, as long as I always have that option for my favorite books I will be very happy on my ereader. :)