Today in December 2016 I spent the day reading a book printed on paper. I can’t believe it. It’s been so long. Well, I had a gift card from Barnes & Noble. It’s been sitting in my desk drawer for several years. I figured I better spend it before Barnes & Noble disappears in an unceremonious agony of insolvency. With about 250 ebooks in my Kindle library, I never thought I would touch paper again.
After reading on my high-resolution tablet for several years, the lower resolution and lower contrast of the print in the Simon & Schuster book was something of a curiosity. It was almost distracting at first but was OK after a few pages.
Life hasn’t always been neat, clean, and digital. I used to read several printed books a month. Seems like a long time ago. But I guess there’s a place for printing on paper. It’s to empty out those gift cards while there’s still something to redeem.
Like everyone else I know who reads a lot, I yearn to spend time browsing through bookstores. A nice romantic notion. But I’ve only been in a bookstore twice in the last two years, so it’s not a high priority notion any longer. One can actually browse online through many of the books in the Amazon catalog where many books also have multiple reader reviews often quite valuable.
The bigger question today is not whether Barnes & Noble can survive but whether print publishing can survive the demise of Barnes & Noble. I used to spend $70 a month on printed books at Barnes & Noble, but today I read in greater comfort than ever on my 8-inch tablet and am perfectly happy doing so. I don’t think print is going to make a comeback.
The author of this article, Joseph T. Sinclair, is the author of twenty How To books published by national publishers.
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©2015 Joseph T. Sinclair. All rights reserved.