Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Future of Books

This is not a wall in my house. I don't display my books with the spines hidden, but to take that picture I would have had to remove the ancient, green down recliner...and my husband. But it's an interesting picture of books, and leads into something that has been rattling around in my head recently. The future of books. 

Fifteen years ago I attended a St. Louis Writer's Guild meeting and a gentleman proudly showed us his new Rocket Reader. It weighed probably five pounds and he had a book downloaded on it. He sternly warned us that in five years paper bound books would be obsolete. Not while I'm alive, I thought. And basically, I was right. Books are not obsolete, they weren't ten years ago, they aren't now, and they won't be in the future. But with the growth of the e-book industry, they are certainly going to be reduced in numbers...maybe.

I feel as though small press publishers like our business may just be the savior of books. We love them. We surround ourselves with them, and probably everyone who has started a small press does it for their love of books and story. We don't get rich, we work sometimes 70 hours a week, and we often neglect our families.

So although electronic readers are everywhere, and our Kindle sales have grown, I'm still a collector and believer in books. Now, the picture below looks more like my shelves...and somewhere under the piles is that comfy recliner.