Writing and Publishing News – Are Print Books Coming Back? Pippin’s Lament

Girl Reading BookAre print books making a comeback? – http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/65172-print-is-back.html

During the past few years I have heard too many times that the ebook revolution will bring the sales of print books crashing down. Some have said that print books would go the way of the dinosaur.

I disagreed then, and I still disagree now. Although ebooks have gained a strong place in the market, sales of print books are back on the rise. In the future, the two options will continue to vie for space, and both will survive, though the buying channels have changed and likely will continue to change.

Here it would be appropriate to sing a song of lament for the Borders chain of bookstores, but I don’t have one handy. This song is out of context, but it will do.

Many brick-and-mortar bookstores are struggling, but those that innovate as the market changes have been able to survive and even thrive. Look for volatility to continue as industry changes press on.

In the ebook business, Amazon is the major player, and their alterations to the market have not always been readily accepted or applauded – http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/28/technology/amazon-offers-all-you-can-eat-books-authors-turn-up-noses.html?_r=0

Here is another interesting article on the publishing-and-market volatility topic – http://www.salon.com/2013/03/21/books_arent_dead_yet/

It will be interesting to see how everything develops as the old-school industry merges with the digital age.

What is your opinion regarding print books vs. ebooks? Which do you prefer? What are the benefits of each? Do you have an ebook reader? Which one? Tell me what you like or don’t like about it.

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13 replies

  1. I used to be a strong e-books fan, but have definitely moved away from that to “real,” print books over the last couple years. There just isn’t a replacement for the feel of the physical book in your hands, or how good it looks when on a bookshelf. In addition, the inability to flip through the pages of a digital book in order to find the right spot also makes it a difficult experience. I’ve seen studies before that have shown that people remember less when reading digital books, than they do when reading physical books, and all of these different factors have made me return to being a big fan of using physical books over digital whenever possible

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  2. I definitely prefer print books. Ebooks often seem too impersonal to me; curling up with a Kindle or my phone just isn’t the same as curling up with a paper-and-ink book. Also, it’s harder to pick up an eBook and flip to a random spot to read in those five minutes before I go to bed. That being said, eBooks are nice because I can take them on my phone wherever I go, and they don’t take up space- a definite bonus on trips when I’m already packing too much!

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  3. For a while I was moving away from print books, but I found that reading on the screen does not feel as relaxing as reading in print. Reading in print format is still my preferred method.

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  4. I prefer printed books. Even though I have never read one off of a Kindle or my phone, I have read stories off the internet. However, I agree that there’s nothing like reading a physical book. I love the way they line my continuously growing shelves. 🙂
    I remember one time reading a book off of the computer and one thing I disliked was my lack of ability to hold more than one page (as you can with your fingers), or being able to flip to a map in the front of the book or to a word pronouncing or translating guide in the back. It was quite irritating.
    Also I’ve read that back-lit screens [computers, phones, Kindles, and the like], at least the light coming from them, are “telling” our brains it’s still day time, and causes our brains to remain awake for at least 2 more hours after looking at a back-lit screen. Another thing that hard copy, paper books don’t do to your brain. Though they do tend to raise your heart rate. 🙂

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  5. I like both. Physical books are better in the sense that its easier to write in them. I like being able to just go and grab the book off of your shelf. It is nice to have the feel of a real book, and there isn’t the technology stress on your eyes. “Real” books are also better for students at schools that don’t allow tablets and cell phones. As for ebooks, they are more portable, faster to receive, and they can’t “break.” My eyes hurt after looking at a screen for a while, and that’s why I love my kindle so much. I prefer to read on my side, and it is definitely easier to do so with an ereader.

    I tend to get most of my books from the public library, so its less of a hassle to get the ebooks, but they have a bigger selection of physical books.

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  6. I prefer print books, for sure. I like the feel, the smell, and just about everyting else. I’ve found that I can get more “in the story” with a physical book. And besides, tablets and such give you a headache if you read for six hours straight.

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  7. I prefer physical books (for many of the reasons other people mentioned), but I can also see the convenience of a Kindle. I don’t have one, but even if I did, I would still buy my favorite books as physical copies. There’s something about owning them, having them on the shelf, that feels more special. 🙂 Ebooks would be handy for vacations, though!

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  8. I’ve only read a few e-books on my computer. I’ve never bought an e-reader and don’t have immediate plans to do so. It seems to be too much money to be invested that I need for other things.

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  9. We have a kindle and for most books, when it’s not part of a large series that I already have in print, I generally go for the ebook version. For one thing, it’s normally less expensive, and secondly, I can highlight it without feeling guilty for defacing a book. Another nice thing is if I want a book, I can get it instantly. After we got a Kindle, my brother reads more and we buy more. (And we’ve already had two instances of getting a free ebook and then buying five more books by the author.) If an author has a series, I think putting the first one up for free, at least once in a while, is a very good tactic.
    When it comes to libraries, I really prefer getting a digital version over the real one, mostly because it’s a lot more convenient.

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  10. I love physical books. I like the smell of a new book. Books feel more real in my hand than on a digital device. Plus when I read on my computer too much it messes with my eyes.

    BTW I love that song by Billy Boyd!

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  11. I think that I really like reading a real book. If the ebook isn’t working or it’s out of battery, then I have to wait for it to get back to my book. Of course, books can be heavy (I’ve been told to take only a few on a road trip because they take up too much space) so the ebook does help there. Also, I think that turning the pages of a book helps get you lost in the story. For example, I was reading “I Know Why the Angels Dance” and I was so immersed in it. Not to mention it is a really sad book, but great all the same. So, I prefer real books, but really anything that I can read on works.

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