Posted by Dale Wilsey Jr. | Posted in books , bookstore , digital books , e-readers , independent , print , print media , usa today | Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2011
|If only this were my home.|
Speaking of reading, today I read an article in USA Today about the future of independent and small bookstores in an age where print seems to be slowly creeping towards extinction. It's something I've thought about ever since interning with a newspaper and seeing staff drop like flies as it (as well as the smaller, surrounding papers in the area) was bought up by a larger company.
Personally, I haven't thought much of e-readers or digital books since their appearance. I've always liked having an actual book in my hand. Feeling the cover, the pages and smelling the pulp. That satisfying feeling you get when you open a new book for the first time. You don't get that warm feeling with sterile, cold electronics. Even with newspapers, I prefer to have the actual paper in my hands despite the ink rubbing off.
But, maybe I'm just old enough to be on the cusp of that generational gap. I remember the time before the internet. It's true. We even went outside to play, as children. The old ways still appeal to me and hold a certain connection. I still listen to records and use a typewriter. Then again, I have an mp3 player and I'm writing this on a PC for the internet.
Regardless of the growing popularity of digital books, print will never die out completely. When discussing this thought with friends, one mentioned that if digital music didn't kill the recording industry and CDs, then e-readers will not kill print. He has a very valid point. There will always be people like me who enjoy stacking their shelves full of books. Or, at least there will be until I'm six feet under. And no one is going to burn the books that are here...unless Bradbury was on to something.
So, let the people have their e-readers and their mega-bookstores filled with obnoxiously loud coffee grinders and Twilight posters. I'll just sit back and enjoy cracking open one of the many books sitting on my shelf. Or, browsing through the nook of used and antique books at my local antique shop. At least I won't have to worry about the text being garbled upon opening the book. Unless the editor was asleep...then there could be some problems.