The enduring debate between paperback and the Kindle is something that I am sure many book lovers have contested at one time or another. So much about the Kindle has changed since it made its way into our lives for just over 10 years now. Perhaps the book world shouldn’t worry about the uncertain future of print just yet?
There are those readers that have migrated to the Kindle, and its ebook relation, and who return to print or they become “hybrid” readers. They juggle between the two, the Kindle and paper. Recently, Arnaud Nourry, CEO of one of the world’s largest book publishers, declared the Kindle to be a “stupid product”.
Publishing is not immune to technical upheaval, and it’s not clear if it will weather the wave of technology better than other forms of media like television and music. It’s hard to say as the world is changing so fast to declare that this wave of digital technology is waning.
The cost of books is a factor for a lot of people nowadays, and that if you are able to obtain text, it might not matter if you are reading it in paper format or electronic format. Some might prefer the Kindle for a variety of reasons such as convenience, cost-effectiveness, portability, and accessibility.
The Kindle might also be a lot lighter than a pile of books, and might not fall apart so easily, or get dog-eared like one of your favorite books – which just makes a paperback all the more personal or as superlative as it is understated. Another thing is that you can’t dry your Kindle on your radiator after it gets dropped in the bath – which you can safely do with your paperback.
It might not be time to clear your bookshelves of your sentimental and treasured belongings and replace them with the Kindle just yet, or perhaps they can both share a space there. Who knows if the next generation will want to read books on a Kindle or some other form of electronic device. For now, maybe its more about picking what side you are on, or just getting used to both