Are you getting sick of people complaining about e-books taking over the world and taking out libraries and bookstores? According to them it’s like an epidemic or something. Borders going under really set ’em off too. A major bookstore chain going out of business?? It HAS TO BE the end of the world!!!! People, calm yourselves. That is what happens when you are a business and you do NOTHING DIFFERENT. There’s a reason Barnes & Noble is still here.
Brick-and-mortar bookstores sticking around is certainly a worthy topic with the world the way it is today. But not when the end goal of the discussion is to piss and moan about how e-books are “in” and old school books are “out” because that just is not true. Do you see people complaining about LED TVs taking over LCD and LCD taking over Plasma and Plasma taking over tube TVs…no? Of course not because that would be STUPID.
The general public is making the mistake of assuming that the publishing market today is happening like this. Contrary to popular belief, e-books are not replacing paper books, they are supplementing them. Especially for indie authors. Never before has it been this accessible for a new author to break into publishing as an independent and actually sell books – maybe not a lot of books, but enough. Know what makes this possible? That’s right, e-books. And yes, having so many self-published books out there does give way to some crap. But can you say anything different today about TV? Or movies?
It makes me want to rage that people – not as many authors or avid readers mind you, but the everyday dude – think they know what they’re talking about when they say physical books are “dead”. People who say this are either booksellers with a sore spot because they aren’t drumming up enough business (oh yes I went there), or don’t really know what influences me to buy a book in the first place.
I’m a big reader, and a writer too – needless to say, books are sacred to me. There’s a time for an e-book and a time for a “real” book, and the books chosen for each varies from reader to reader. I have to have Harry Potter on my bookshelf, that’s a no-brainer for me; for my sister, it’s Pretty Little Liars, and for my friend it’s the Twilight saga. And some weirdos will sit and download books all day long without a second glance in a bookstore, but to each his own.
We can’t base our outlook today on the technology of tomorrow, we have no idea what the world will be like! I read a cartoon recently where a guy was standing outside a shop window looking at “books without batteries”. It was awesome, everything a cartoon should be with a commentary on humanity and humor all in one. Nothing about it was offensive at all. Want to know what is? All these articles and posts and bad political cartoons making an “e-books vs. real books” war out of something as basic as a shift in technology. Who’s to say if in the future we’re all robots reading new digitized books that put the Nook Color and Kindle Fire to shame?
We’ve been so busy judging all these modern day covers, we’ve forgotten the one most important thing about books in the first place – the story being told. The scenes that touch us. The characters that edge their way into our minds and lives as if they were real people. That’s what we should be judging – no, not judging – applauding. No matter if it comes wrapped in the form of an e-book or a real book. People, calm yourselves. Let’s complain about something that matters here.
Tanya Marcy loves to work with emerging and independent artists to market their projects and reach their ideal audience. She blogs at stickTnotes, where she shares her ideas about being a creative artist in today’s changing world. You can find her own art at deviantART and sample her writing at Figment