Print books are dead!

“Print books are dead, Mom,” said my son in a recent phone conversation. Lest you think this mother raised a fool, Daniel is Dr. Lewis, with a PhD in English, and teaches that at college level. He loves books. He begged me to teach him to read at the age of three.

Daniel and his wife, Sarah, in Ireland.

But he’s also a member of the first generation to be raised with video games, which led to personal computers, CDs, DVDs, cell phones, DVRs, and eReaders . He’s fully ensconced in the digital age. As my son says, “Digital is faster, easier, and cheaper.” I can’t argue with that. I have a Kindle and I read a lot of books on it.

That’s not to say I don’t still love the feel of a “real” book in my hands. And I confess that print books still seem more substantial to me. More important. As I said in a previous post, once again I’m dependent on public library borrows for most of my books, and though they have access to some eBooks through Overdrive, most of the books I’m looking for are not among them.

So print books are still very much a part of my life. But are they a part of yours? Will print books be less important to the current generation of children and mere old-fashioned curiosities to the next? What form do you favor now?

I’ve taken a poll on this topic twice before, so let’s update again. If you’re reading this through email or a blog reader and don’t see the poll, PLEASE click through to vote.

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20 thoughts on “Print books are dead!

  1. My wife and I read only print books. My daughters, who have grown up in the digital world, read both print books and e-books. If they have a preference, it seems they favor print books.

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  2. I mainly read prints. If I read digital, it’s because the book is from an indie or small press author who either doesn’t have it in print or the prints are more expensive than traditional prices. As an author, my print sales are far better than my digital sales, even though the digital price is far lower. My 24 year old daughter, an avid reader, has an ereader but hardly uses it. She wants print. I see very few people here in my small town area with ereaders. I do see the library and bookstore very well used.

    No, it’s not close to dead. Electronic is the new fad and it’s big now but it’ll fade a bit when it’s not the new thing. My guess is that city folks are more likely to read electronic, but the rest of us, and that’s a very large number, are not nearly as fond of it.

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    1. From what I’ve heard, LK, it’s very unusual for indie print sales to be better than digital. Mine are definitely the reverse. You’re probably right that there’s a difference between city and suburban/rural preferences, but that may change with time. I think digital books are here to stay. But I’ll enjoy the print books I have. 🙂

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  3. Yours will be the first book I read that isn’t print. How about that? I’m old fashioned and like print books, but I expect in time we’ll all be converted over without our evening being aware of it happening. Change is often met with objection in the beginning.

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