Nook just unveiled its new tablet today. Watching the interview on CBS this morning with the president of the company he was asked if he thought traditional paperback books will disappear in thirty years. Although, he wouldn’t give a definitive answer (because Barnes and Noble still have over 600 bookstores nationwide) it was apparent that he thought so. Though Barnes and Noble have outlived most retail book outlets, I do believe those days are numbered. Getting into the ebook revolution by designing the new Nook is a wise idea when Amazon is clearly taking over the market. And with the Kindle App, you don’t even need to own a Kindle to buy from the electronic store and read a book. As I’ve watched my book sales on Amazon rise steadily each month, I’ve also watched my Nook and Kobo sales stagnate. It could simply be the popularity of the Kindle and ease of the Kindle store that feeds my sales or it could be that I haven’t put nearly the effort into selling to Nook and Kobo through Smashwords. It’s my own ignorance that keeps this market low on my priorities. I simply don’t know much about the Nook and its store. That’s all about to change. I’m dedicating the month of October to getting myself setup on the Nook sites and their boards. Though I was loyal to Amazon when I was in their Select program, it’s time to branch out and spread my promotional efforts around the globe. Look out Nook, here I come!
Yea, but people have been predicting the demise of the book since the first one rolled off the printing press. I wonder if it isn't a more stable medium than that. I know a lot of people who simply don't enjoy reading digitally--young and old. And research is coming to the fore about the negative correlation with retention and processing--could effect school curricula and result in a backlash. I'm usually pretty wary of such predictions, especially when they're made by those with a vested interest in the outcome. Still, I'm glad if you enjoy your Nook!
I think that over the long haul, new paper-and-ink books will go away except as special collector's items. Ebooks simply offer too many advantages. And while you know some young people who dislike digital reading, my observation has been that the majority of young people have no problem with it.
Happily, the decline of hard-copy books will not equate to "the demise of the book." It will only be the demise of a particular format for books.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are upfront costs associated with buying an ereader. There are plenty of people who can't lay down $100 (or however much an ereader costs) and rely on the library for internet access and books. Yes, such people do exist, no matter what others seem to want to believe.
I still buy a lot of used paperbacks at second-hand stores, like Goodwill. But new books, I generally purchase the Kindle edition. When I travel, I just take my Kindle. And I love the feature that allows me to enlarge the text. When the font is 18-point, I don't even need to use my reading glasses.
Printed books don't need electricity!
Too many people like how it feels to hold a book in their hands...I don't see hard copies becoming obsolete.
The loss of print books would be a tragedy.
1. The experience of reading print vs. reading something electronically is very different. There are times each medium wins out for me, primarily when I need the larger print an eReader can provide or when I am reading one of my many friends books, who are only available in eBook format. On the other hand, reading a print book is an experience. The texture of the pages, the details on the cover, the choice of the font, any embellishments like images at the start of sections... The list goes on and on. And the smell. We must not forget that utterly delightful new book smell.
2. As others have said, some people like eBooks and some people prefer print. Some people, as I find myself, are somewhere in the middle. But the existence of both provides something that the lack of either would rob us all of: choice. Anything that robs us of choice is generally a bad thing, when the topic at hand is one where having an opinion, rather than knowing a fact, matters.
Do I think they'll go? We shall wait and see. For now I will buy my stuff in whichever medium suits each book best. I think that going to purely electric books would be a dangerous thing, though. Someone always has to control the power--whether that's the longevity of the devices, the cost of the devices, the upkeep and need to update the devices, how long the last before they break, whether new books work with old devices, etc. There are a *lot* of ways this could all go horribly, terribly wrong if we do not pay extremely close attention. Knowledge is a weapon--never doubt someone out there wants to use (and potentially abuse) it. (Whether for money, fame, power, control or any number of other things.)