Are Physical Books Really Dead Yet?

A new Amazon Kindle ad has Crave writer David Carnoy speculating that Amazon has pronounced the physical book dead. Long live the physical book! He writes,

By saying that the physical book “lives on,” Amazon is implying that it died at some point. That’s not exactly true, of course, but the messaging seems pretty clear, and expect to see more of it going forward.

It seems rather obvious that physical books continue to be printed and sold to millions of readers. But you know what? I think Amazon is on to something here. As an avid book lover, my heart has been torn by my growing love of eBooks and the accelerating disappearance of bookstores most recently due to the Borders bankruptcy.

As I sort through the remains of the store closing sale of my neighborhood Borders, I am filled with the same ambivalence about physical books as I’m sure was in part responsible for the store’s demise. I love the printed book, but these days I prefer eBooks whenever they are available, and in many cases, I am more than willing to wait for an eBook version to come out. As a result, the only printed books I buy now are graphic novels and manga because they are still mostly unavailable in eBook form, at least legally that is.

So maybe Amazon is right. Somewhere along the way physical books died, at least in my heart, but the soul of the book lives on. It lives on in Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and anything that can display the printed word. If that’s not going to heaven, I don’t know what is!

This entry was posted in eBooks, eReaders and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.