Kindle Books: What Comes Next?

I love things that have been loved. Call me overly sentimental, but I believe that an object that has been cherished by another human carries with it added value. Maybe that’s why I love antiquarian bookshops and vintage record stores. Rows and rows of music and prose that has been cradled, caressed and curled up with or snuggled up to.

 

On a recent travel research trip I discovered two vintage vinyl stores in one little “Mayberry” downtown. Record stores are not that unusual in “cool” downtown districts, especially in a college town, so I wasn’t that surprised. What widened my Cheshire grin that day?

While chatting with the store owner about how ‘Coltrane just sounds better on wax,’ he mentioned that “kids are getting it too.” He then went on to tell me that many current artists are recording on vinyl as well as digitally. Music to my ears – literally.

 

That got me thinking…

 

The current publishing debate is “when print publishing will officially ‘die’.” When will new books go the way of records, 8-tracks and cassette tapes? E-readers have taken the reading world by storm. Even textbooks, long the unapologetic cash cow of many publishers, are beginning to go digital. So, when will the Reaper come for the noble hardback or the paperback beach books? He won’t. In fact, I don’t foresee print dying at all. I’m betting on a long slide into “indie” status.

 

But then what happens?

 

How long will it take to come full circle? When, like records, will books become not classic kitsch, but popular publishing options…again? Call me crazy but I’m looking forward to the day when I stand in a local book shop and the owner leans across the counter conspiratorially and says: “You know, nothing beats holding a real book in your hands. Did you know that many current authors are publishing in print again? Can you believe it!”

 

That day is coming. So, do me a favor, friends. Fill up your kindle and hasten the day.

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