Crossing over to Digital

Inspired by Daily Prompt: Crossing

For some time the publishing world has been caught in between printed books and ebooks. I have a love-hate relationship it seems with both sides of this dilema. I have friends who love the smell of opening a book, whether it’s the musty smell of on old book or the crisp fan of the pages of a new book’s ink. I have other friends who have totally embraced the ebook revolution and stand firm behind their choice. So, where do I fall? Being a self-proclaimed techie, I fall more toward the ebook side, even though I love holding a print book with one of my covers on it. So, what makes an ebook worthy of crossing over to instead of picking up that print book? Here are some points to ponder.

  • Availability. The last time I went into a brick and mortar book store looking for a book was to fulfill my daughters school reading assignment. Her school would work out an agreement with the local bookstore to carry the books they would require for outside reading. So we would make our annual trek to the store and purchase the necessary books. Other than that one time a year, I rarely darkened the door of the bookstore, unless it was to purchase a specific magazine. Normally, I would let my fingers do the shopping online. The joy of online shopping is, as everyone knows, you can do it from the comfort of your home in your pjs at any time of the night or day.
  • Selection. My online bookstore offers the book in many formats including paperback, hard cover, and ebook. I can also get new or used books.
  • Time. With most online stores offering expedited shipping for free, a short wait for a book is worth the trip to the bookstore, especially if it’s a “hard to locate” book. If speed is of the essence, then an ebook offers instant gratification because I can download it immediately.
  • Readability. As the boomer generation ages, so do their eyes. Large print books are more expensive and harder to come by. Ebooks meet this need by allowing readers to select their font size without having to pay additional costs. Readers are only limited by the size of their devices, whether it’s a phone, tablet or desktop computer.
  • Practicality. As the millennial generation grows so does their desire to streamline their lives. A multi-function reading device appeals to them more than shelves of books cluttering their lives. A phone in their pocket affords them a library of books and takes no extra space to obtain them.

As I work with clients, their dream is to walk into a bookstore and see their book sitting on a shelf. And there is nothing wrong with that dream, except, it is slowly fading from our day to day reality. With digital subscriptions to entire libraries on Amazon, even downloaded ebooks may become a less frequented avenue for reading books. It’s an ever evolving world we live in, and thank goodness it is or we’d all be standing in caves reading the latest hieroglyphics on the wall.

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