Wednesday, October 18, 2006

E-Publishing vs. Traditional Print

Anyone have an opinion on this? All of a sudden, Triskelion has popped up all over the first-timers' sale page of RWR. I didn't realize it was primarily an e-book publisher 'til I checked it out today. I know there are more and more of these e-pub sites showing up, that let the consumer download a story rather than buy it in the store or borrow it from the library.

I recently took a tour of a private school which is planning a huge renovation of its library into a wireless, distance-learning site. The Dean giving the tour admitted that they have no plans to continue expanding their current library/book collection, and most future money will go into maintenance and constant updating of the technology on campus instead.

I found that rather sad. I mean, as a life-long reader, and lover of literature, I think there is something special about curling up in a chair with a book in your hands. But our society today is so computer and Internet-tied, it seems, that the publishing and reading and buying of books strictly online will become common practice in the next few decades.

Will traditional print lose out altogether? And is that a bad thing?

1 comment:

Pam said...


I was just responding to this topic in the marketing room at WVU.

I was wondering if libraries as well as bookstores, were the last holdouts and the things that have kept books from going the way of the music industry.

Touch--being able to hold and handle books coupled with the visual connection my brain has with the written word has, thus far, rendered me unable to read anything in book length electronically. Short stories...sure thing. Books...nope.

I'm waiting for the affordable, book-size, e-reader and as long as the downloadable books are affordable, I'm willing to bow to technology.

After all, I remember a time when there were 45's and no diet soda. Gasp! One has to evolve or become a fossil resisting change just because change is out of one's comfort zone.

Nevertheless, libraries without tons of books will represent a major shift in civilization and I do wonder what we'll lose and if we can know before the fact and still make the choice to go digital.

It's a little scary to me.