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Yes, it's so full of drama, drama, drama.
One of our great readers, Mizmak, left a question in our Just Ask section awhile ago, and I'd like to address the question today. Mizmak left a link for us to to peruse, titled Technological Advances Usher in the Future of Reading.
You should at least go scan this article. It's very interesting, stating such things as:
The newest generation of readers — the texting, chatting, YouTubing kids for whom the term "offline" sounds quaint — has run circles around the fusty publishing process, keeping its favorite stories alive online long after they're done reading the books.Some argue that reading is quickly becoming a lost art, that our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter with each generation. This could possibly explain the new adult love of middle grade and young adult fiction - it's shorter and usually more simple in nature - fun reading!
Some scholars fear that this is breeding a generation of readers who won't have the attention span to get through "The Catcher in the Rye," let alone "Moby-Dick."
Let me share a few things here. I recently self-published my novella, Cinders. I had the choice to offer this novella as just an ebook or as a printed book in addition to an ebook. To me, there was no question. At all. I wanted to be able to hold my book in my hands, flip through the pages, see it on my shelf. Now that the book is out and selling, it's interesting to watch the sales numbers on both printed and ebook versions. Ebook sales are more, yes, but printed sales are significant, as well. I also get responses like this about the printed version when people receive it in the mail:
It. Is. GORGEOUS! This is like a one book argument for never, ever letting the world go entirely to e-reader.The artwork is so stunning. It feels so wonderful to hold it in your hands and turn the pages. It would have been pretty hard, too for you to sign my e-copy and I do love a signed book (I will treasure this one! You're the best. ~February Grace
FYI, before I even crack open the book, it's absolutely beautiful. The cover and print and everything. It looks so professional and gorgeous, and I'm happy to have it on my shelf. You did a really awesome job. ~XiXi from Icy Roses
I haven't received any responses like that about ebooks arriving on people's Kindles or in their inboxes. Hmmm, there's something special about holding a printed book. It's like a piece of art, and as far as I know, people haven't stopped painting with oils and watercolors or using chalks and pastels just because Photoshop exists.Just got my package from you in the mail!!! It looks even better than I expected!!! ~Olivia Lowry Cook
(1) I do think that the newer generations are getting shorter attention spans - and yes, that might mean YOU have a short attention span. Do you think you could get through Anna Karenina on your Kindle in less than two weeks? Would you want to? Honestly ask yourself why or why not.
(2) I do think that reading longer, more literary and complex works is a dying art form.
(3) I don't think the printed book will EVER die. Film hasn't died. Paintings haven't died.
(4) I do think we're already in a digital age and it will only get more and more advanced and prominent, but publishing (self and traditional) will grow and change with it even if some of it dwindles first.
(5) I do wish people would stop freaking out about the printed book dying. If you're frightened for the printed book, go to your bookstore and buy some books, and get your friends to buy some, too. And I honestly must admit, there's something much more tangible and rewarding and lasting about holding a printed book in my hands. I'm much more likely to remember it when I see it on my bookshelf and read it again.
Let me ask you this:
Did you skim any of this post?