Two years ago, I asked the question, will e-books replace the printed book? Will we turn into a world of readers who stare at the glowing screen, instead of burrowing our noses in the musty pages of a hardcover? And I predicted that the good old printed book will never go extinct. Not completely. If vinyl records are still being used by music lovers, why wouldn’t printed books stick around for all of us book lovers? And it looks like, so far, the evidence bears me out.
I obviously have a vested interest in whether e-books are read by anyone – I’ve published several short stories in this format. But, as a reader, I will never lose my fondness for actual pages. And recently Time magazine reported that printed books are not dying, despite all dire predictions. And, as a bonus to me, e-book sales are still increasing alongside. So the conclusion basically is – e-books are a great, portable complement to printed books. People don’t feel like they have to choose only one or the other. And really, that’s great. There’s no reason this has to be an either-or situation. It just makes a good story to declare this an all-out war.
Of course, this study is just a snapshot of how things are right now. Everything and anything could change in the future. People might start exclusively buying e-books. Or e-books might just turn out to be a fad after all. But at the moment, it looks like both the printed book and the e-books have staying power.
What about you – do you find you read both E-books and printed books, or only one or the other?