Are books obsolete? This is debated on all sides but most often in discussions about e-publishing. Certainly the look of Chapters has changed considerably since it opened its doors a few years ago. Then it carried, well, books. And more books. Lots of lovely, different authors and amazing sale shelves featuring people whose names you knew, such as Margaret Atwood or Sidney Sheldon. If you watched you could come home with a real treasure.
Even the titles were varied and there were loads of hard covers on the fiction shelves. (I’ve never been a paperback lover.) Now when I go into Chapters, which is often, I have to navigate the tables and displays of sheep’s wool blankets, baby sipper cups, barbecue utensils and a host of other eye catchers totally unrelated to books. And instead of thousands of different authors we see every last one of the books of only some authors. Those whose names are neon and whose fame is total.
And, really, we can’t blame the bookstores. We’re jumping on the e-reader bandwagon like fleas on a dirty dog. I love my iPad2 and while considering just how my novel will make it to market, I know I will give it an e-presence! So, I’m to blame. You’re to blame. We’re all responsible for Borders’ closing.
The only thing that might be worse is if bookstores were closing and we had no alternative. With book burnings during the dark ages, we lost the works for ever and ever. Today, e-reader-type devices threaten to take the place of books, but not to destroy their wisdom completely.
What do you think of this massive trend? Do you prefer your books made out of paper or on your tablet? What are the advantages and disadvantages you see between e-books and paper books? Consider leaving a comment.