With growing numbers of us using e-Readers is there still a place for the trusty paperback? There must be…real book never die!
With Waterstones doing a roaring trade, in fact the revival of the sales in physical books and a “stall” in the digital market has only recently saved the company from bankruptcy.
So, it seems that the initial panic that ensued with the launch of products like the Kindle and Kobo has died down. Waterstones were in full support of the digital book revolution, shown by their stocking the Kindle in their stores. But not for long! They soon reclaimed the shelves for physical books after what they describe as “pitiful” sales of the Kindle.
As a reader, I like a mix of both. A fresh new paperback to curl up with at home, yet I vote for my Kindle every time when on the move so I can dive into a few pages at short notice. If all else fails the book I am reading is on my phone too, so I am never without my book. I love this flexibility, but keeping on track with my reading for book club is one thing but when diving into a book to escape and lose myself there is nothing better than the real thing. Here’s why:
You experience a book
Do you remember the days of being read to as a child? The excitement of what was on the next page, the brightly coloured pictures of your favourite characters and even the feel of some of them. Oh and let us not forget the noises they made. Real books offer a truly magical, tactile experience that you can share and cherish. It is just not the same reading a device to your child.
Children aside, real books have curves and can be cherished and displayed. They tell a story before the cover is even opened, not just the one inside but where it came from. They are often loved by their owners for years and passed on to other family members or friends. My father recently passed on his Harry Potter collection to my son, along with his school edition of Peter Pan. The respect and love for these books is unmeasurable.
These days the words don’t just stay on the pages between the covers of a book. Theme parks bring stories to life, just look at Disney where historical stories come to life. The book Hobbledown also comes to life in a magical kids farm in Surrey. Delving into the books these parks are based only heightens these experiences. I am sure it won’t be long until us adults are recapturing the literature of the Hunger Games at a theme park or Harry Potter’s Hogwarts which has also become a very real experience in London.
Let’s not forgot how many of us like to visit the real places of a story to bring the places to life too, Tintagel Castle to experience the life of King Arthur and Merlin orBletchley Park to be transported back to World War II and take in the wonders of the Enigma Code. There to name but a few. The magic of books coming to life.
So you see, real books can encourage you travel and explore too. Taking you to places you have never been both literally and figuratively.
You own a real book
You can loan a book
Well you would loan someone your whole device would you? This wouldn’t be loaning them a book, one of your favourites, one of your passions. When you loan a good book to someone you are asking them to share the experience you have had, a little like going along to the theatre together. This simply does not transfer to eBooks and e-readers, you can’t even loan your book to someone using the same device as you.
Not only can you loan a book, but you can borrow them too. Local libraries are not going anywhere, although the numbers of visitors have dropped over recent years (mainly due to the closing of libraries) the numbers are still massive. Our library facilities allow you to not only enjoy numerous books on an array of topics, but you will meet like minded people that share your passion. Plus, you can read books for free. You can browse the shelves of books and enjoy making new discoveries without spending a penny. Can you imaging what a library would look like if it was just banks of e-readers or worse still rows of computer screens? Not inspiring at all.
You can buy a second hand book
A book becomes a treasure, this can not be said about an e-book. It could be argued that an e-book neither becomes old or treasured, it is forever new and is never recycled or packed away to be found years later.
Visiting tucked away, little independent book stores and charity shops to search for a “bargain” or gem that you can begin to love and enjoy yourself is an experience that can not be transferred to our electronic world. In fact e-books are not books at all but simply files that get transferred from one device to another with not a ounce of love lost.
It is great news that book sales are increasing and more of us are enjoying the smell of fresh new pages and losing ourselves between the covers. That said, do you think that it might be the introduction of electronic reading that has made us all start to read more, it has been made so convenient. Perhaps this has sparked a memory of how reading once was and we have all missed it and are now returning to visit old friends.
What are your thoughts? Do you enjoy a real book or do you prefer the digital world of the ebook?