Thursday, March 17, 2011

What will happen to books?

There is a lot of discussion in the publishing industry and the library systems about books. What will happen to them with the new and increasingly popular e-readers. Experts predict, books will stop being produced within the next ten years. Libraries will be in complete e-form, and any book that is desired in physical form, will be print-on-demand, and probably very expensive.

This is good and the bad of the whole situation as I see it;

1. The Good: It limits the use of paper and the need to recycle the paper into the environment.

2. The Bad: We’ll also see the end of brick and mortar bookstores and libraries. Borders isn’t completely gone, but most likely will be in the next year.

3. The Good: E-books have opened the door to talented writers, who found traditional publication out of reach.

4. The Bad: There is also a lot books coming out that contain very disturbing subject matter, because there is yet any restrictions. On-line bookstores are starting to pay closer attention and pulling those books. Thank goodness.

5. The Good: The cost of e-books in most cases are cheaper. The popularity of .99cent books is growing on-line. Those books are usually earlier releases of the author, but still if you wait and are a big reader, it’s a great deal. I find the average e-book is between $2.99-$4.99.

6. The Bad: Most hard covers are upwards to $29.99 when first released. A ridiculous price for a book, even for a beloved bestseller. Personally, I collect my favorite authors in hardcover, but wait up to a year or more for the book to hit the discount table for $6.99.

7. The Good: There is a discount table and used bookstores. Used bookstores most likely are going to see a boom in business as bookstores close their doors. All those paperbacks cluttering shelves will become a great trade for credit in a used bookstore.

8. The Bad: Books will disappear within the next ten years. And I’ll really miss the experience of a bookstore.

9. The Good: You’ll be able to put all those hardcover books you’ve collected of your favorite author in your will. They’ll eventually be worth more than the original $29.99 price.

10. The Bad: I’ll really miss books, bookstores and the smell of coffee and muffins. I hope someone comes up with a idea so we can still have that experience.


Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

This is so depressing for me. I'm not a fan of e-readers. I'm tactile. I like the feel of turning pages. I want to cuddle up with a good book not a battery-charged gadget.

L. A. Lopez said...

I'm with you Dawn it is a depressing situation. I love the feel of a book, the smell of the paper. But-the industry has buried itself in it's own waste and costs.
I have a e-reader and do enjoy the convenience, but will always love to have books and keep my shelves full.

Jill James said...

I think it was about a year or so ago, some blogger asked people why they loved paperback books. The reasons of turning the pages, the smell of paper and ink. He said if those were the only reasons, paper was doomed. I love my books but I love my Nook too. Kind of exciting to carry 1500 books in your purse.

Justin Ryan Schwan said...

I think this is way overhyped. Physical books aren't going anywhere soon, certainly not within ten years.


@Justin Ryan Schwan "Physical books aren't going anywhere soon"

Justin, I agree with you. There are still many people out there who will never purchase any kind of electronic gadget with e-books in place of a 'real' book. I personally do not have an e-reader of any type and have no intention of purchasing one. I believe books will be around for a long time yet. I agree that the industry is changing, but that doesn't mean it is doomed to disappear completely or become obsolete.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Change is always difficult and so many of us love our books. I do think I have enough unread books on my bookshelves to last me the rest of my life. For some reason, it is a comforting thing to look at the collection especially when you know there are hours of reading enjoyment in them.

Great post.

Margaret Duarte said...

Wish we could keep both, but I guess we can't fight the times. Will books become like encyclopedias? Well, there will be a lot less clutter on the bookshelves and in piles and boxes in storage. Best go with the flow.

Austin James said...

I don't think physical books are going anywhere - ebooks are 15% of the current market... and Self Published books are not not the whole 15% either (not even close). I expect ebook growth to continue to increase, but the rate at which it grows is going to slow dramatically.

And Borders will come back... they are just closing the unprofitable stores... the stores they kept open all make a profit.

Jill James said...

Would be nice to believe all of that, but how many 8 track tapes and cassette tapes do you still listen to? How many people still have phonographs and records? The message is still the same, only the media changes.

Carolyn Hughey said...

Wow! Lee, awesome subject and I love all the comments. There are some very valid points to keep you thinking.

As an author, I want to be able to autograph my books, but I can't if they do away with print books.

As a reader, I have a Kindle, and yeah, I love the convenience. So in essence, I'm saying I'd like to keep both. I think the popularity of eBooks will drive the prices higher, so then the question becomes "what will you do?" Will you still buy them for the convenience?

Joanne said...

Well, Lee, your list of "bad" is so sad. I so agree with you that books will be sorely missed. Let's hope the "experts" are not correct.