Friday, 20 May 2011
The Book is Dead, Long Live The Book
Newspapers, TV and blogs around the world pick up on the latest stats of e-book sales and queue up in delight to tell us that the book is dead. Or is, at the very least, dying.
Dying, my arse.
The problem with stats is that you can get them to say pretty much what you like because the real news people is that although e-book sales are rising at an incredible rate, that is from a standing start. Make no mistake they are still a LOOOOONG way away from the total sales of hold in your hand, paper bound, old-fashioned ones.
I was watching a news programme where the interviewer was desperately trying to ignore what the book industry spokesman was saying when he highlighted the fact that total ebook sales are around 6% of paper ones. Because the presenter clearly follows the modern media dictum that says it ain’t news if it ain’t bad news.
Pisses me off, and each time I hear it I throw the closest thing to hand at the TV. Which is usually a book. Funny that.
These worry-monger also point to the music industry and how it was affected by downloads. Again, pish and piffle. Sure downloads have affected record sales but the truth is that MOST people still buy actual CDs.
I’ve got my e-reader but a real book is still where it’s at for me. I’ve downloaded a handful of books onto my kindle. Well , maybe two handfuls. However, in the meantime I’ve bought at least double that and been sent the same again in review copies. Sure my e-reader is a nice wee gadget but when it comes to settling down for a read I kinda almost forget that it’s there and pick up a nicely packaged bundle of paper.
Sure, you’d be a fool to ignore the continued impact of digital books but we are good distance from them ever killing off the traditional version.
What about you guys? Have you bought an e-reader and if so how has it changed your reading habits?