Thursday, January 29, 2009

Booking Through Thursday

From Booking Through Thursday blog:

Something a little different today–
First. Go read this great article from Time Magazine:
Books Gone Wild: The Digital Age Reshapes Literature. (Well worth reading.)

Second. Stop and think about it for moment. Computers and digital media are changing everything we do these days, whether we realize it or not, and that includes our beloved books.

To be different, today, I’d love to see a discussion here, in the comments, rather than scattered amongst all our separate blogs. Because this is an issue that affects ALL of us, and I’d really like to see us hash out the merits and demerits of this evolution.
Tell us what you think. Do you have an ebook reader? Do you read ebooks on your computer? Do you hate the very thought? How do you feel about the fact that book publishing is changing and facing much the same existential dilemma as the music industry upon the creation of MP3s?
Sure, feel free to write about this on your blog, but honestly–I’d love to see an in-depth discussion, and you can’t do that by flitting about the internet reading 100 different, individual essays. You can only get that by having the back and forth of conversation

My response:

What a timely topic for today's BTT! After reading the article in TIME magazine, I mailed it off to my college freshman daughter (old-fashioned, I know, but she likes receiving mail). She has dreams of a career in journalism/publishing and earlier this month attended "A Day of Publishing" in NYC. While there, she visited Random House, McGraw-Hill, and Conde Nast Publications.

There is no question that the publishing industry will be changing, but I believe the industry is far from doomed. Connotations associated with self-publishing may also be changing, but I have to believe the success stories mentioned in the article are far from the norm. The rise in the popularity of the Japanese cell phone novels is an interesting phenomena that I'd heard about before. I am struck by the similarities to Dickens serialized novels of the 1800's...a rapidly developing story that quickly reaches its readers and leaves them anxiously awaiting the next installment. It will be fascinating to see how this evolves.

As far as the ebook readers go, I am intrigued with amazon's kindle but haven't taken the plunge and purchased one. Reading on a computer screen hasn't worked well for me. I've attempted reading with DailyLit a couple of times and have given up within a week each time. If I traveled more, I'd probably purchase a kindle, but, for me, there is no replacement for the feeling of holding a book.


  1. I much prefer having a book in hand. I love reading blog reviews on a screen, but my physical and emotional response to a book that I can hold is much more satisfying.

  2. Jenclair, thoughts, exactly!


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