Original post was written for the Venture Gallery blog
on October 2, 2014
by Stephen Woodfin AMAZON
Do you prefer paper books, eBooks or audiobooks?
It’s not a theoretical debate.
The digital revolution has changed all sorts of things about the book business.
Ebooks are here to stay.
Audiobooks are on the rise.
But the demise of paper books has not occurred, as some predicted.
Independent book stores, not so long ago believed by many to be on the way out, are on the resurgence.
So the book world now is schizophrenic.
Readers read books on their smart phones, listen to audiobooks on their phones or tablets while they commute or take trips, and purchase paper books.
I’ll use myself as an example.
I buy several eBooks per month straight off my Kindle. I buy an audiobook or two each month and download it on the Audible app on my phone. I listen to it on head phones connected to my phone. I buy paper books of a few of my favorite authors when new releases come out. For instance, I always pre-order the next James Lee Burke book. I also buy paper copies of classic or hard to find books. I am more likely to purchase a paper book in an independent bookstore, although we don’t have many such stores in my neck of the woods.
I don’t know whether my book buying habits are representative of book buyers in general. My thought is that there are a number of factors that come into play in the equation. Some of those are the proximity of a brick and mortar bookstore, the age of the buyer and the genres of interest to her.
I think we are beginning to see a backlash against the ubiquity of the Internet.
The Internet is great for many things, but it can’t replace the smell of a bookstore or the personal interaction a book buyer can have with knowledgeable bookstore proprietors who can point her in the right direction. Neither can a reader shake hands with an author at Amazon.
So, I’m curious.
Do you prefer paper books, eBooks or audiobooks, and where do you like to buy them?
When I read Stephen’s blog, I just had to share it with you. I guess the fact that I had received my son’s Christmas list early (as he’s heading out of the country until Dec 21st) might have something to do with it. You see… his list consisted of three, hard-to-find, hardcover books from Amazon.
Then last night, my mother called and asked me to send her two paperback copies of my own book Special Agent Francesca because she wanted them for Christmas gifts. (What is it with this Christmas stuff??? Sheesh – it’s only October.)
But…I digress! The point here is that many folks still enjoy holding that physical book in their hands and then displaying it on their bookshelves.
My personal theory - we might be able to alter the old systems with progress but we’ll never change human nature.