Paperback Books Going Extinct

Because of today’s advancement in technology, E-books sales are over taking paperback books sales. 

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Before the age of technology, books were everyone’s favorite pastime. Reading books where a hobby for many people. People who would sit down and read books would get lost in the beauty of the words, the story, and the feelings that they would feel reading the books they love. For readers, there is nothing more beautiful in this world than the art on the cover of a book, the beauty of the words on a page, the soft feel of each page, the smell of those pages and the beauty of the books on their bookshelves. Now with technology at our fingertips, the book is a dying pastime. People in the age of technology think they don’t have time to pick up and read an actual book. The E-book was invented for exactly that reason; people could have books at their fingertips anytime. One tap of a finger on a kindle, e-reader, iphone or ipad and the book is yours in seconds. Readers are wondering: because of E-books, are paperbacks going to die?

“E-books are now the #1 selling format in the U.S. And that’s not just in terms of volume, but in dollars too.” said writer David Gaughran in his article ‘The Future has happened Already: E-books Overtake Paperback Sales in the U.S.’ According to Gaughran’s article, statistics show that E-books now comprise 29.5% of the market. But what is so special about an E-book? Is it because it’s on a screen, people like it better? Is it because it’s easy to access? More importantly, will the publishers go out of business?

When a book is published, the hardcover of the book is always released in stores first. After one full year, publishers will consider releasing the paperback version in stores if the book was a best seller. If the book didn’t end up becoming a best seller however, it will sometimes take longer for the paperback to come out. But with E-books, publishers have had to release the paperback within less than six months, regardless of whether it is a best seller or not. “In an industry that has been upended by the growth of E-books, publishers are moving against convention by pushing paperbacks into publication earlier than usual, sometimes less than six months after they appeared in hardcover,” said journalist Julie Bosman in her article ‘Paperback Publishers Quicken Their Pace.’ 

Publishers realize there is always going to be that dedicated reader that will never transition to E-books. “If there’s one form of printed book that will survive, if there was only one, it would be the trade paperback,” said Peter Aaron, the owner of the Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle, an independent bookstore.

Teachers at Vincent Massey Collegiate High School, in Montreal, are against e-books. “ If all books turn into E-books, students will never be able to concentrate or take notes in their books,” said Darlene Williams, an English teacher. “It would just be pushing them to go on Facebook and Twitter during class and they’ll never be able to concentrate.” A lot of teachers agree the use of E-books will lose the concentration of students in not just high school classrooms, in every classroom.

“ I like to turn pages; I like to scribble notes in margins; I like to collect books and display them on my shelves,” said Una a literature blogger and a second-year English literature student at Warwick University in the United Kingdom. “For me, the world of books and the world of electronics are completely separate things, and I’d like it to stay that way. There’s something about curling up on a sofa in a library and reading a paperback that I find beautifully romantic-and an online library doesn’t count!”

For a avid reader, the beauty of a book will always be enough for them. True readers will never settle with a fancy device over a beautiful book. “There’s something about holding a book in your hand and physically turning a page that, for me at least, can’t be matched with pixels on a screen,” said Josh Catone, blogger and writer in his article: ‘Why printed books will never die.’

Will paperbacks ever go extinct? For traditional readers, it will never go extinct. Reading a book in your hands and turning every single page to see what happens next is one of their favorite things in the world. Even though technology is increasing rapidly new stylish phones or kindles, but this won’t change the minds of a reader. Novelist, designer, and web entrepreneur, Jack Cheng, thinks printed books offer a more robust experience to the reader. “ I feel like with E-books, you often just get a meal on the same white plate as all the other meals,” he said. “ But a nice hardcover is like having a place setting, having a dinnerware selected to suit the food. The story is still the main thing you’re there for, but the choices around it – the paper stock, the way the book is typeset, the selection of fonts – they add their own subtle flavors to the experience of that story.”

Each copy of a book represents something sacred to the reader. Each book is unique to the reader on every level. Each book a reader reads defines them as a person. Their favorite books define them and the digital versions of those books won’t have the effect. An electronic facsimile of the readers’ favorite books is not an adequate replacement for owning a physical copy. Print is the only medium that will satisfy true readers. As of now, E-books are slowly making their way into the market and becoming more and more popular. But for people who truly love books, the paperback will never die. Author Rob Hart, the website administrator for digital imprint Mysterious Press said an interesting comment about E-books. “ Digital technology is funny- you own an e-book, but you don’t,” Hart said. “ You’re paying for the right to access data.”

Word Document: Paperback Books Going Extinct

Edited by: Cristina Sanza    

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