As dedicated ereaders come down in price--and I think they'll come WAY down--the cost of the device may no longer be an issue. And one of the really nice things about them for older users is that you can increase the font size and adjust the brightness of the screen to taste--so even guys like me who need bifocals but are too vain to wear them can read without holding the damn book at arms' length.
Still, I don't think the printed book is anywhere near dead, and I don't think publishers have any plans to stop making them. The number of titles released as hardcovers may decline rapidly, though, or publishers may do library editions--very small HC print runs for libraries, reviewers and collectors--and then do the general release in trade paper, say, and ebook only.
And one of the really nice things about them for older users is that you can increase the font size and adjust the brightness of the screen to taste-
Now, that would be nice.
I'm not Luddite, I love my computer and the internet and my digital camera and all that, though I have friends (my age or older) who still resist mightily....
But I do like the feel of a book in the hand.
As dedicated ereaders come down in price--and I think they'll come WAY down-
They will---they'll have to---like everything else.
I remember what I paid for my first computer--and how clunky it was: almost more than I paid for either my Mini (with keyboard and monitor) and my laptop. And when you think what even a 3mpx digital camera used to cost---prohibitive!
Of course, with the environment in mind.... I suppose....e-books would save a few trees....:)
I don't have a Kindle yet, but I do have Kindle for PC and it's free. Talk about the cost coming down. . My laptop goes almost every where I do so I don't know if I'll ever get the small Kindle. Books download in a flash. It's pretty amazing. Adjustable fonts, page size, the whole enchilada.
Yup! All very true. We depend on folks who cannot wait to get the next book. That's why book sales happen in the first month after release. It's really insane. If you don't make it in that first month, you're out.
I should also point out that most of the homes I've visited or seen pictures of have not had any books, with the possible exception of the Bible and an encyclopedia. This is not true of European homes or some of the apartments in New York City. Books are not a permanent possession for most Americans. They are a costly nuisance that requires book shelves and are expensive to move.
Books are not a permanent possession for most Americans.
Barren shelves, barren minds?
I think people who read regularly tend to hold on to their books.
From time to time we've had to give away books, as our shelf space diminished--donate to library sales, etc. I can't imagine living in a house without books or original artwork.
There's a saying.... I forget whose...."Books do make a room!" Indeed.
Caroline, I've read — and observed — that Kindles are enormously popular among older readers. My 80-year-old mom was a very reluctant convert, but she made the switch once she had to downsize and de-clutter when she went into an independent-living facility. She loves it, and we love it because she's spending less and taking up less space with the things that make her happy. And when I visit her in her new place, I see fellow seniors sitting in the lounges with their Kindles. Now that they're $189, they're a smart investment for seniors, because, given the disparity between the cost of a popular hardcover and a popular e-book — say, $9.99 vs. $28.95 — that $189 will be recovered and then some within a few years. And sooner, in my mom's case. She inhales thrillers and suspense novels by the cubic ton. Or ... well, what used to be a cubic ton.
If some people can't or won't make the change just because they can't or won't handle change, that's one thing. But cost really isn't a valid concern. Especially with the e-loan system now in place at many libraries.
That's kinda the point I was trying to make (and not very well): My mom is the polar opposite of the "savvy senior." She lives largely in the past, is resistant to change of any kind, and even gets passive and pouty like a child when we kids try to patiently explain, "Mom, this is a GOOD thing. Trust us." And so we dance around the subject of change ... and then force it on her for her own good. And invariably she comes back to us, as she did when we bought her a Kindle and made her sit while we showed her over and over how to use it, and says, "You guys, I'm really glad you didn't give up. I love this thing! It's so light and so easy on my eyes. And I found all my Jonathan Kellermans!"
This was necessitated a few months ago when we moved her out of her last place, and were horrified to find every closet and kitchen cupboard jam-packed with paperbacks. (She likes all the "supermarket suspense" authors.) Worse was finding that she had DUPLICATES of at least 50 books. After some patient interrogation, we finally figured out that if she couldn't find the book she wanted inside of a minute or so, she'd just give my brother some money and ask him to run down to the store and get another for her.
And this person, for whom the world largely stopped when our dad died ten years before, took to the Kindle like a a kid to video games.
I try to steer away from these ebook vs. print discussions, they get violent, LOL. I just wanted to share that I never liked buying hardcovers anyway. The only exception was for classic books but I never bought a hardcover for a modern author. Hard covers are too much of a hassle to deal with, LOL. I liked paperbacks because they were easier to carry around and you could multitask when reading them. They bend and fold making it easy to read when eating and even cleaning up. They're great for perching on things. You can't do that with a hardcover.
I am not surprised ebooks are outselling hardcovers. With this economy, who has the money to pay $25-$30 dollars for ONE book when you could buy ten or more for that price? People gotta put gas in their cars and eat, LOL. Most of the people I've known personally never bought hardcovers and some who did only bought a few for collection sake but they bought paperbacks for their reading pleasure.
I am sure as you all know I am a BIG ebook fan now. I don't even buy print books anymore, unless it's a book I have to have that's not released in ebook or in a format I can't acquire. That's...all I'm gonna say on that, LOL.