Will Kindle Replace “Real” Books?

I don’t think so.

I’ve long been a stalwart supporter of paper and very much aligned with the philosophy that technology represents another option, not necessarily a replacement option for many communication tactics and tools. (Somewhat akin to the oldĀ “TV will replace radio” sentiment.) The advent of TV obviously changed the radio industry as the advent of technology will change the publishing industry – I don’t, however, think print will ever go away).

That said – I think Kindle is wonderful. My husband bought me one for Christmas – it wasn’t something I thought I would like but, guess what? I love it! I like the way it “feels” like a real book in my hands. I like the fact that it’s small and can hold *tons* of reading material that I can carry around with me effortlessly (especially with increasing restrictions on baggage!! books weigh a lot!). And, I like that if I “run out” of reading material I can quickly download another book (except in Mexico, I learned…).

But, I don’t think my Kindle will not keep me from buying actual, *real* books. For a couple of reasons: 1) I like the ability to share. I recently read a new Jodi Picoult novel on my Kindle which I really loved and have wanted to “pass it along” to several people. As far as I know I can’t currently do that with Kindle technology the way I could with a *real* book. 2) I like to have and display books. It’s kind of like buying DVDs of movies you’ve seen. Why do you need a DVD? Just to have it. I’m a hoarder that way. I have bookshelves lining my office. They’re filled with books. Can’t imagine them being barren.

I do think, though, that Kindle (and other products like it) will have an impact on the book publishing industry. What that impact will be remains to be seen. For me what it means is that I will probably no longer buy “paperbacks” – which I’ve always viewed as “throwaways.” I will, though, continue to buy “keeper” books – the timeless classics, fiction and non-fiction, that I want to own in a tangible format.

In fact, I’m thinking that there may come a time when “made-for-Kindle” products (and e-books) will be converted to print format because of their popularity. What do you think?

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