Friday, June 5, 2009


On the screen or in your hand? Print or on-line? Will the book survive the Internet? Will Kindle and other electronic readers make the bound book obsolete?

I've thought about this vaguely. Until now. I love the Internet and am completely at home there but I figured the book would always meet that comfort need - to curl up and relax on the couch. Today it all came to a crux for me and I voted with my wallet!

A few months ago I opted to replace my print Good Reading magazine subscription with an electronic one. I thought I would save paper. Save money. It would be convenient for looking up past articles and reviews.

Not so. I found navigating the screen to find what I wanted more confusing than flicking pages. Too many extra steps. I can never remember my ID. The process of settling down to read begins with a frantic scrabble to find the necessary numbers. Then I don't feel like reading any more or the time window has slipped away.

So I have returned to the print version. It's worth the extra money. I can read and relax again.

What do you think? Will print survive? Is my reaction a generational thing?


Jeffery E Doherty said...

Absolutely. Print will survive. For a start very few of the e-book readers are compatable so if you own a Kindle and in a couple of years you change to a different reader, all of your books are useless - you can't read them any more. Even if they do settle on a one-reader-reads-all format, I am still sure books will survive.

I love audio books and have stacks of them. The ones I really like, I make a point of buying the print copy as well. You can't beat the smell of paper and physically turning the pages.

The Book Chook said...

I spend a lot of time reading on the screen, so for me, print is a much needed and looked forward to break. The main reason I will buy an e-reader is if we go live some place without English books again. Travelling with my books on a tiny device will save a fortune in excess baggage costs!

Anonymous said...

I've just done the same thing - switched to print version of Good Reading. So much more enjoyable to read print version - especially late at night, which is when I have any chance to read it!

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