Yep, this is an opinion piece from out of the New York Times.  But still a much-needed lift for an old codger like me who  likes to have a book in his lap

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/opinion/26wed4.html?_r=2&ref=...

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This reminds me of another NY Times editorial I came across while doing some research on the first two decades of the 20th Century for my WIP. It might as well have been titled: "Horses hanging in there." It went to great lengths to extol the virtues of equine forms of transportation and to explain why the automobile would never catch on.

I share your sentimental feelings for traditional books, B.R., but Eric’s comparison is a good one.  I can imagine people back in the early 20th century saying, “But still a much-needed lift for an old codger like me who likes the feel of a horse between my legs instead of a steering wheel on my lap.”  The problem I’m facing in this new digital era is with illustrators like myself who would like to draw up a coloring book.  I can only imagine what havoc a waxy crayon could do to a Kindle display screen:)  

Actually, it seems to me that what the author of the piece is arguing is that selling electronic versions will help publishers hang in there. In other words, this isn't about books made of paper, but rather about selling the book in any format at all to the benefit of the publisher.  It leaves aside books self-published by authors in electronic format.
Being a candidate for old-codgerdom myself, I can sympathize with you, B.R. But please trust me on this: I've come to love the feel of a Kindle and an iPad in my lap.
Oh, I've come to terms with the new technology, Richard. In the not to far future a B&N's color screened Nook is in the works.  Or maybe a cheap rip off of an Ipad.

Hi B.R. I'm still reading paperbacks and always will... however, I spend an awful lot of my time on trains and used to carry a small rucksack of books with me. Mainly because I read in much the same way that I listen to music. It's a mood thing. If I know I am approaching the end of a book I have enjoyed, I need a variety of choice.

For those reasons, along with the sheer simplicity of use and transportation, I love my Kindle.

As an about-to-be first time novelist any day now, I am anticipating far more kindle orders than paperbacks. How many that will be or what the ratio will be, I have no idea. But I'm confident that the Kindle version will sell more, even if I don't sell many overall. Price is the other big factor, especially when it relates to a writer we have not read before. The 'gamble' tor is vastly reduced when the reader has paid a negligible price for the experience.

 

I know plenty of internet-savvy codgers but who I am to argue with the NYT who clearly believe that older readers will remain faithful to the good old paperback. 

I'm told that we are living longer, that we have an aging population. Don't get too excited. Are old folks homes really going to be awash with paperbacks? eBooks already have a large print option just think what they offer in ten years.  

FYI, today Amazon announced that for the first time ebooks are outselling paperbacks on its website.
I thought that had happened a few months ago.  Hmm.

No, you're thinking of when Kindle books surpassed hardcover sales.

 

I suppose the next milestone will be when Kindle books surpass hardcover and paperback combined. (Probably sometime late this year would be my guess.)

 

FYI, my best selling Kindle novel cracked the overall Amazon top 100 for a week during the past summer, when I discovered that all it took was 60 plus sales per day to stay there. Nowadays, not so easy. I've been averaging maybe 70 sales per day for the past ten days, and the book only just cracked the top 1,000 this morning.

Excellent, Eric.  Congrats.  I'm still waiting, alas.

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