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Are Books Really “Going Away?”

| September 2, 2010 | 1 Comment
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“For me, real reading is for e-books, and books have become this kind of collectors’ object,” said Mr. Hanas, who has published short stories in literary journals like McSweeney’s and is publishing his next book, “Why They Cried,” only in digital format. “It’s kind of amazing to see people still going through the stages of acceptance that books are going away, saying they like the way books feel and smell. I was there, but I’m past that now.”

This quote, by author Jim Hanas, stayed with me long after I finished reading this story in the New York Times about the skyrocketing trend in digital books. ["By the end of this year, 10.3 million people are expected to own e-readers in the United States, buying about 100 million e-books, the market research company Forrester predicts. This is up from 3.7 million e-readers and 30 million e-books sold last year."]

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  • Keith

    As physical objects, books for me have no more significance than CDs do. I lost all of my CD booklets in a flood several years ago, and partially as a result of that, decided to digitize my entire music collection and banish its physical incarnation to a set of binders deep in storage. Not only was it liberating, but I find I enjoy perusing and leafing through my digital album covers far more than I ever did my CDs. So even browsing is enhanced by going digital. I stay stop killing trees entirely. Make print on paper a charming anachronism, like vellum scrolls.