For someone like me who grew up reading, collecting and loving books long before Amazon was a gleam in anyone’s eye, there’s a particular thrill in seeing my own story in print. Don’t get me wrong. I love eBooks. I currently own 2 Kindles and most of the books I buy these days are on those devices.
There are very definite advantages to owning eBooks. First, they’re cheaper, often free. That means if I buy a book I end up not liking very much, I’m not out much money and I don’t have to make a trip to the thrift store to unload it. Second is the convenience of plopping one slim, lightweight item in my suitcase instead of lugging around anywhere from 1 to 5 books. I’m petite and not very strong so having a lot less weight to drag around airports and hotels is a big deal. Finally, I like the idea that because of the popularity of eBooks we aren’t slaughtering as many trees as we once did.
But, every now and then, I wander into a library or a bookstore just for the visceral pleasure of smelling and touching printed books. And, when I find a book I love, I will often go out, or order online, a paper copy of said book.
Print is struggling these days, but not because people have lost their love for paper and ink books. It’s because the big 5 publishers are unable to break old habits. Bookstores are nowhere near being dead, but the Mega Stores are. The return to smaller indie bookstores is wonderful to hear about and I for one, even if I never hit the shelves of a brick and mortar bookstore, will always publish my books in both formats.
One day I hope to have an entire shelf in my personal library dedicated to my books. Wouldn’t that be grand?