Monthly Archives: May 2017

Just enjoy reading

kindleThe Guardian once more raised the rather boring cry regarding the drop in e-readers sales versus paper books. Of course the quoted statistics originated from ‘The Publishers Association.’ A body of mainly the old style print publishers. These are the people who price ebooks higher than paperbacks, the people who would far rather produce yet another celebrity life story than risk publishing a new author.  Certainly, they are a group with a vested interest in promoting paper sales.

The creator of the article took no view of the other channel for ebooks, the Indie press. These are the people who now choose to self-publish, rather than handing margin to the member of ‘The Publishers Association.’

The BBC picked up the story and invited an author to comment. The author into a tirade against the smugness of people who only want to read on paper and who grasp at any fake news on the demise of ebooks as a good thing.

“There is an elitist air around those who decry the ebook.”

The Beeb wheeled out a teacher who quoted the proven fact that retention when reading from paper is greater than reading from an electronic device. Possibly true. When I edit, or prepare an important document, I would usually take it onto paper. But not all reading needs to be retained, certainly not in fiction.

Anybody who loves the feel and smell of a book is welcome to it. Anybody who has the shelf space to house their collection can feel proud, but surely coveting books is different than reading?

Reading is the pathway to another world. Whether I read to my grandchildren from an ereader, or a weathered and ancient tome doesn’t matter. They experience the pleasure of reading. It is the job of adults to encourage reading whatever the medium.

As a person who has ended up scouring the shops of a greek island desperate to find a paperback, a person who needs to take at least seven novels on holiday and as a person who ended up reading their passport over and over because it was all they had left on a rainy day in Yugoslavia, I am willing to sacrifice the olfactory delight of a book to have my current library available on ereader, phone and tablet. I am never stuck anywhere without a book and if I finish the current one, I can acquire another in seconds. This includes trains, doctors waiting rooms, traffic jams and airports. I love my Kindle.

The only question should be: How can an Ebook with no print and negligible distribution costs be priced at anywhere approaching paperback prices? Of course, the member of ‘The Publishers Association’ splits an equitable share of the increased profits with the author, don’t they?