Thursday, April 15, 2010

Romancing the Book

After about a decade of electronic see sawing on the future of the book, a handful of very successful electronic reading devices are leading the way. It no longer seems like a question of whether electronic books will ever own a significant portion of the reading market. These days, the questions are focused around how quickly it will happen in a deep and meaningful way.

Now Penguin CEO, John Makinson, has thrown a reminder into the mix: in the frenzy to get on board with electronic books, it’s important we don’t forget the romance of its printed ancestor. From The Washington Post via Reuters:
With the excitement around the launch of Apple’s iPad and the growing popularity of other digital devices, it is a challenge to retain the romance of the printed book, according to the head of publisher Penguin.

The iPad, a cross between a smartphone and a laptop, is helping foster a market for tablet computers that is expected to grow to some 50 million units by 2014, and with it, also expand the market for e-books, which has been hard to crack.
On a trip to India, Makinson commented on the place of the book in our hearts as well as on our shelves:
“We need to keep the emphasis on the reader’s emotional relationship with the book. It’s still important to produce a well-designed, beautifully printed book that looks good on a shelf, and that you can gift to a friend,” he said.

“And the challenge is not to lose sight of the main act, which is still the book. The definition of a book itself is set to change, but there is a tradition, a romance to a book that is essential to retain,” he said.
The piece is here.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

"see sawing"?

Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 1:57:00 PM PDT  

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