BOOKS IN A DIGITAL AGE THE FUTURE FOR THE PRINTED BOOK

Since the dawn of printed literature there has always been a unique connection between people and the written story. For years it has been marked by the tangible nature of holding a real book, the feeling of it’s shape and size, the smell and feel of the paper which worked to create a heightened experience for the reader, however, in more modern times there has been a shift towards more digital formats of reading, though the statistics show that readers are still sticking with physical books over digital e-books.

Critics and technophiles are quick to dismiss this seemingly archaic way of storing knowledge and suggest that our screen-based world we live in has neither room nor regard for the connection of the physical form to the reader and the author. As such, we can often view products such as printed books through a prism of sentimentality, the realm of the digitally inept. Though it is undeniable the connection between artist/author and consumer that is evident in the physical book, you often lack in that of an e-book.

Furthermore, while digital storage mediums have been in a state of constant evolution (from floppy disk to HDD), books as a form of knowledge storage have remained unchanged for centuries and do not need to be “upgraded” as new technology is developed in order to be consumed and enjoyed, easily accessed by the people. Additionally the physical book offers a more tangible experience to the owner, whether it be receiving a book as a gift, or selecting that new title from a bookstore, that cannot be replicated in an e-book.

For the self published author, the creation of a physical book is also the creation of a Legacy, it is one of the few tangible lifetime accomplishments that can live on in the exact format we created for generations to come. Not only through purchases of the book but also within our state and national libraries can a record of our creative output be held in perpetuity.

There is a world of difference when visiting a State Library as opposed to ‘the cloud’.