Print v Digital….is the end nigh for books as we know them?

Upon browsing through my tweets this morning I noticed one that said that Newsweek will cease to print by the end of the year and will instead launch a single global digital edition.  It seems they are following the trend of many publications and ditching paper in favour of digital.  This makes me sad and makes me wonder if  the end is nigh for printed publications.  More importantly im wondering what im expected to do whilst in the waiting room at the dentist….instead of out of date magazines with slightly worn covers will I instead by greeted with a table full of kindles?

I am all for technology however, when it comes to books im quite a traditionalist and have avoided the kindle and other similar devices because I like to read an ‘actual’ book.   There is a certain joy that comes from purchasing a new book, peeling back the cover and feeling the paper in your hands as you turn the pages, this is something that a kindle can never replace or replicate.  Quite simply print is beautiful to me.   Of course I can see there are many benefits to devices such as the kindle, in that you can read whatever you like and need never fear being judged (unless someone is looking over your shoulder of course),  maybe you don’t want your fellow commuters to realise you are reading ‘Fifty Shades’ or the latest Mills and Boon.   There is a definate advantage in not having to carry around heavy books and having the ability to browse through your whole library of books on one lightweight device.   Even my handbag, as big as it is couldn’t compete with that side of things and more importantly nor could my shoulders.

Whilst understanding the benefits of the kindle and iPad I can’t get away from the fact that I find it quite depressing to imagine a world without bookshops or papershops wherein books and magazines as we know them will become a distant memory, and a world where it seems strange to do anything other download a copy of the latest book onto a plastic device that fits conveniently in your handbag.  What will become of librarys…..will they be given museum status?

I recently read a blog wherein the writer said “there are different tools for different jobs and just because l can read my emails on my iPhone doesn’t mean that I won’t ever check them on my PC again.  Whilst my Kindle is perfect for the train I’d rather have a paperback in bed“.   I can only hope she is right and maybe books are safe for a little while yet.
I am going to end on a quote which is somewhat un-related to the pros and cons of print v technology but captured my attention when I came across it and made me silently nod in agreement whilst reading so I thought I would share it.

The best moments in reading are when you come across something….a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things that you’d thought special, particular to you….and here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.
Alan Bennett

Happy Reading x

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