Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I got into a discussion the other day about the future of reading and books. It's a popular discussion for writers. People think it's only our generation of writers who are talking about it but from reading author's biographies, I know authors have always talked about it. They probably always will.

Of course now, we have EBooks. Depending on who you talk to, EBooks are going to take over the world or they won't ever do anything. I'm somewhere in the middle. I think there will always be paper books but I think they might be too costly for anyone but the very wealthy at some point (history again) and I think everyone else will read EBooks.

It sounds bad for those people who can't imagine reading anything but paper but I like EBooks and I'm confident that authors will make money on them. Our new Berkley Books are out on Kindle and have been doing very well. Local college students are starting to download textbooks on E readers and laptops. They are cheaper and easier to carry around. Just think how great it would be for elementary school children not to have to carry 30 pounds in backpacks each day.

I like reading EBooks because the screen is backlit and the text can be whatever size I want it to be. We've had letters from people thanking us for the Kindle books (not that we have anything to do with it) because they can read again for the first time in years.

I guess it all depends, but I think it must be like the first time paperbacks came out. No doubt hardback lovers were deeply offended. But as long as the words are there and they tell a good story, I don't care what they're on. Things change. Sometimes we have to live with that and learn to love it anyway.

Jim Lavene

No comments: