Hmm … it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it!?
Huffington Post UK went live today, so there I was clicking around (honestly, I was distracting myself with a five-minute break from marking Grammar & Writing papers! Students: everyone needs a breather sometimes ;)) when I stumbled across an article close to my heart: Will Kindle kill the paperback?
I wrote an opinion piece about the very same subject a few months ago as I struggled to decide whether I should bite the Kindle bullet or stand firm with print book, so it was interesting to read another opinion.
I don’t agree with the writer that we’ll forget the romantically pleasing turn of paper pages, and I hope more than anything that Kindle and printed media can continue to walk hand-in-hand for a while longer. I, for one, certainly won’t be forsaking books completely, and my children appreciate the joy of a ‘real’ book, so, with luck, they will carry the love of paper on for another generation at least.
I’m Lucy, and I have a Kindle. I find complements my reading rather than being my exclusive reading source, so I feel happy in the knowledge that I’m not entirely part of the march to wipe out printed books.
Since writing the opinion piece, though, I’ve done a lot of reading around the publishing industry, and my suspicion is that it won’t be paperbacks that bear the brunt of the Kindle and his brothers-in-arms.
Could it be that the hardback will be the quickest to go? It’s more expensive, it’s harder to lug around and it’s become the domain of celebrity (read self-important) ‘memoirs’. Word on the street suggests that digital copies will be the backlist and the Old World’s paperback, whereas the new paperback will take pride of place at the top of the food chain.
I reckon that hardbacks will remain as gift books and cookery books — items that don’t easy move across into the Kindle market. They won’t disappear, but they won’t dominate in the readers’ eyes. Christmas will still be dominated by glossy, photo-filled The Silver Spoon–type cookbooks, and I doubt Jamie will let up anytime soon, either.
Loo libraries that want to be kept contemporary don’t need to be dominated by hardbacks, though coffee-tables do love a good hardback.
Anyway, I could go on for a while, but those exams really *do* need my attention.
What do you think is the future of e-readers, paperbacks and hardbacks?