Monday, September 26, 2011

September Theme: The printed book VS the digital world by Lucy Jones

In a world where digital media is so predominant, authors are having to compete for audience’s entertainment hours and £££’s with the internet, computer games, TV and cinema. In a bid to keep up to speed, the E book was invented. Personally, I don’t own a kindle, and probably never will. (I spend way too much time staring at a computer screen as it is!) I love to walk into a bookstore, gaze at all the wonderful covers, and take my time browsing through them all until I make my decision. Somehow, downloading a book onto a Kindle doesn’t seem to match that experience. There is something very mechanical about it, although I can see their appeal.

We are adapting to a busy world where entertainment is something that can be found at the push of a button. If you look at the way books are written compared to fifty years ago, you can see the difference the digital world has had. The pace is much faster now, and modern novel tends to reflect this. Many bestsellers are extremely ‘Plot driven’ with shorter chapters ending in mini cliff-hangers so as to not lose the reader’s attention.

Change happens in every industry. It keeps things fresh and exciting, which is why I’m so pro The Kindle. Many authors shudder at the K-word, and understandably so. With more and more bookstores closing every year, it’s easy to get swept up in the idea that ‘publishing is dying’. But publishing isn’t dying. It isn’t even close to dead. Publishing is doing what it’s always done; evolving in order to give readers what they want.

Saying all this, I don’t believe that the printed book will tumble into oblivion, at least not for many years to come. The simple fact remains that many people, like me, still prefer to hold a tangible book in their hands.
And with all this new technology, comes the possibility of a bigger audience. Our books are now available to anyone, and anywhere.

Surely that can only be a good thing?

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