|Paper or electronic? We can have both.|
Sometimes I think that it is just as well that we're going to more and more digital format books these days. At least they don't take up as much room. I can't imagine what my library would look like if I had as many paper books as I do e-books. Most people I know who are avid readers are now utilizing the electronic formats more and more. I guess you can't stop change.
That said, the worldwide trade for 'real books', ie. paper books is still huge - as the following news article suggests:
From the start, e-book purchases have skewed disproportionately toward fiction, with novels representing close to two-thirds of sales. Digital best-seller lists are dominated in particular by genre novels, like thrillers and romances. Screen reading seems particularly well-suited to the kind of light entertainments that have traditionally been sold in supermarkets and airports as mass-market paperbacks.
These are, by design, the most disposable of books. We read them quickly and have no desire to hang onto them after we've turned the last page. We may even be a little embarrassed to be seen reading them, which makes anonymous digital versions all the more appealing. The "Fifty Shades of Grey" phenomenon probably wouldn't have happened if e-books didn't exist.
Readers of weightier fare, including literary fiction and narrative nonfiction, have been less inclined to go digital. They seem to prefer the heft and durability, the tactile pleasures, of what we still call "real books"—the kind you can set on a shelf.
E-books, in other words, may turn out to be just another format—an even lighter-weight, more disposable paperback. That would fit with the discovery that once people start buying digital books, they don't necessarily stop buying printed ones. In fact, nearly 90% of e-book readers continue to read physical volumes. The two forms seem to serve different purposes.
Whatever the medium, there is something very, very addictive about books. They are still proving to be one of the best ways to present information, whether it be a story or facts & figures, etc. For me, reading delivers an experience like no other.
Yes, I'm a book geek, and I couldn't be happier about it!