Monday, October 11, 2010

Change…to be or not to be

We all face changes in our lives. Some we like and others we feel we could live without. The older we get the more challenged we feel with change, the harder it is to make the adjustment.

Recently, a very large challenge came into effect within the literary field…..e-publishing. This is actually not new, just one of those things that sat on the back burner for a number of years, waiting patiently for a ride to the front. It needed a conveyance, transportation to the front line.

Back in the middle 1990, e-publishing was established and the literary world laughed about publishing an e-book. Whoever heard of reading a book from a computer? Who would want to do such a thing? Those who chose to try something new were put down and sales were minimal. But e-publishing survived and held its ground, waiting patiently for the right vehicle.

Today, the year of 2010, the trumpets blared, the confetti flew through the air and loud voices proclaimed victory. The reason was the development of the Kindle. An e-reader of all e-readers. There were others before Amazon’s Kindle, but once this device surfaced, the public jumped on the bandwagon. An easy way to carry a multitude of books in one small container. The avid reader was excited.

The question is….will this replace the actual handheld book, whether it be paperback or hardcopy? I doubt that the change will be that drastic upfront, for many people enjoy holding a book in hand, collecting that specific author’s book for a personal library, or whatever the reason we scan the bookstore shelves. I personally enjoy reading from a book, but I do believe I would find the e-reader convenient. So why can’t both survive in our world of the 21st century? We are in the making of a historical change. How will it affect our libraries?

Here is a question I pose to my readers. How do you feel about the new adventure of electronic readers? Are you game to try something new? To be adventurous. Let me hear from you.


Janet Muirhead Hill said...

As a reader, I'm perfectly content to snuggle up with a book, the kind that smells of paper, that has pages I can turn as the adventure unfolds before my eyes. I also love the experience of audio books to accompany and entertain me as I drive long miles. I don't need an electronic reader... yet the niggling attraction of Kindle, nook, iPad, and others beckon from the wings.

As an author, I realize that the market is shifting, and my books better be ready for the readers who are buying Kindles and iPads and even reading books on their cell phones. My hope is that the print books never go away. I don't think they will, but with environmental issues at the forefront, there is a lot to be said about the e-book.

Candace C. Peterson said...

These are questions which have been asked since electronic readers first tapped the market and still paper bound books line library and store shelves. The market can satisfy both kinds of readership. It is capable of handling the blending of the markets. It is not unusually, therefore, to find readers carrying both a novel and an electronic reading device with downloadable movies, music, books, and news at their fingertips. This is the world today. We live in an ever increasing fast-paced, many options world where, when the moment presents itself, we either grab a moment to ourselves with the paper-bound novel or the electronic-device reader. These moments are precious, indeed.

Is there room for both paper bound books and electronic readers? Yes. Will the market support both? Definitely, but only for as long as the public continues to demand both.

Gwyn Ramsey said...

Janet, I totally agree that we have to learn to live in both worlds. I prefer a book in hand, but should I be traveling to work on a monorail or by plane, I do believe an e-reader would suffice. The 21st century is moving forward with us and I for one would like to see the two entities travel side by side together.

Gwyn Ramsey said...

Candace, You are correct in the knowledge that we can blend the two markets together to get the best results. My only hope, too, is that the public requests to keep both paper bound books and e-published books to fill the needs of all readers.