WHERE ARE THE INTARNETS?: On physical books versus e-readers.

Working within the book industry, perhaps the most frequent question I get is whether or not I think e-books and e-readers are going to replace physical books and bookstores.

I always answer no, at least not within my own lifetime.

And it’s the other questions I get concerning e-readers that are why, even beyond my own never-ending and irrepressible love of clinging to an actual book like it’s a long-lost friend.

For illustrative (read: entertainment) purposes, here are a few of my favourites thus far!

 

 

“So this thing comes preloaded with fifty thousand books for free?” (This as I was showing him the clearly-labeled “Shop” function.)

“Is this a telephone?” (Even more bizarrely, this question then somehow dissolved into the customer and I having an absolutely lovely conversation on Secretariat, of all things, so I confess I did consider it time well spent.)

“Hey, so where [within the physical store itself] do you guys have your e-books?” (“But I saw a sign about e-books!” was then the response to my patiently attempting to explain that e-books are not actually physical objects that we can stock in-store.)

“DOES THIS WORK IN NIGERIA?”

(As the aforementioned customer turns the device furiously over and over in his hands) “WHERE ARE THE INTARNETS?!

 

 

Say what you will about e-readers, and how they are the reading experience of the future.

My money is still on there being a solid market for physical books for a good long while yet. :)

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2 thoughts on “WHERE ARE THE INTARNETS?: On physical books versus e-readers.

  1. Hi! Thanks for taking the time to read my post on trigger warnings, I’m glad you liked it.

    As a lover of all things book-related and prospective consumer of e-books, I’ve been wondering:

    Do you know if any of the popular English-language e-readers support other languages? I speak/read English, Spanish, and simplified Chinese. I imagine finding an e-reader on which I can display books in both English and Spanish won’t be difficult, but I haven’t been able to find any information on support for non-Latin based scripts.

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