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Author Information

Cady is a staff writer here at The Hudsucker. She is an English major and Writing minor at Grand Valley State University. Her dream is to be a novelist or to work for a publishing company. She enjoys reading, traveling, and watching Boy Meets World, The Voice and Back to the Future. Follow her on Twitter as @cadyelizabeth9

Where Will All The Books Go?

We’ve all heard the worry that with e-books and e-readers taking over, there will no longer be any “real books” left. Since Kindles and Nooks took the market by storm a few years ago, their popularity has grown at a steady pace, causing book lovers around the world to do one of two things: rejoice in the fact that buying an e-reader opens up an entire universe of possibilities for what book to read next, or wonder about the future of the kind of books that fill up the library shelves.

Image Credit Flickr: Casey Fleser somegeekintn

Image Credit Flickr: Casey Fleser somegeekintn

The first e-reading devices arrived on the market in 2007, and since then numerous models have been released, from HD versions to devices that offer a different kind of lighting to ease eye strain. The digital books these devices support have become wildly popular, because e-book versions of popular novels are usually much cheaper than the print versions. E-book prices often fall into the range of $3.99 to $9.99, where their print counterparts can sometimes cost upwards of $20. Prices for the devices themselves are relatively inexpensive if you buy a version that has been on the market for a while.

The e-books versus physical books debate has caused a rift in the book lover community. Some readers are adamantly against e-readers because of the initial price or the technological aspect of it, while others love the idea of having one device to read virtually any book. Both sides have some pretty valid points.

From the physical book crowd:

I like being able to physically turn the pages of a book and feel my progress. Some people don’t like that when holding an e-reader, it doesn’t feel the same as holding a book. Flipping through the pages manually (without swiping the screen or pressing a button) is all part of the reading experience.

Seeing my book collection lined up on the shelf is rewarding. A lot of readers like to have all the books they’ve read lined up on a shelf in their home, whether for vanity reasons or sentimental reasons. If all those books are inside the e-reader, you just can’t have that visual anymore.

From the e-book crowd:

I like that I can have an entire library in my pocket! Probably the most popular reason for buying an e-reader, the idea that books are always available to be put on the device is a pretty big advantage over having to go to the library or bookstore to pick up your next book.

It’s more expensive up front, but cheaper in the long run. Depending on what brand and model of device you want, it could cost you upwards of $200 to buy an e-reader. However, the e-books are usually much cheaper than the print versions, because the cost to produce them is much lower: no paper, ink, or printing presses = less money to make them.

Whether you’re the kind of person who prefers a physical copy of a book, or one who likes to have your entire collection in your pocket, I don’t think anyone has to worry that one or the other will soon go away.

Just think about the digital music industry. When iTunes first launched, so many people in the music industry were worried that artists would no longer make a profit because their songs were being sold cheaply as digital versions on iTunes. People thought that CDs would disappear entirely because full albums could be bought through iTunes. But CDs didn’t disappear entirely, market just evolved. People still buy physical copies of albums. Some people even still buy vinyl records!p>

I think it’s going to be pretty similar in the digital book market. Physical books will still be produced, though maybe on a lesser scale, and e-books won’t destroy the market for those who still enjoy reading with a real book in their hands.

It’s a matter of personal preference. There is no wrong way to read a book.

For any die-hard physical book lover who still may be weary of the trend of e-readers, just remember that e-books are just another way to spread the magic of reading.

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