For openers, this article is a pleasant change from the Guardian’s “death of books imminent” hysteria/paranoia. (A shortened version of this post appears in the Comments there.)
Since I bought my Kindle in the first tranche of releases last year, I’ve probably bought more print books, not fewer – quite the opposite of what I expected or wanted (I’m running out of book space).
Partly this is in rebellion against some of the absurd prices being charged for newish ebooks, when paperback versions are discounted to much lower prices, and partly in protest against the shit formatting of ebooks. Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals, for example, was a shambles, with all the footnotes shoved in at the back, out of context and often meaningless as a result. The e–publishers had also failed to take heed of his row of asterisks chapter breaks – which so confused poor old Tom Paulin** – with the result that chapter breaks were seemingly inserted at random.
** “This man is an amateur – he doesn’t even write in chapters!” he shrieked on BBC2’s book review show some years ago, thus branding himself a total pillock.
Then there’s the continuing problem of not having most books I want to buy available as ebooks, so I have no alternative but to buy the print version.
Improve quality, and do something about prices, and I’ll buy more ebooks – until then, the death of books isn’t happening, at least not for me.
I love my Kindle, though, which has about 200 books on it, mostly out–of–copyright freebies, plus a leavening of books I already have in print but are packed away, and which I want to read again, in a very easy to transport form – invaluable during a recent hospital stay).
For me, Kindle is best for fiction. For those non-fiction books where you find yourself skipping back and forth through the pages – cookery books, are a typical example – Kindle is hopelessly out of its depth (and not just Kindle, probably any ebook reader)
For me, in terms of publishing quality and price, print books still rule – I see no signs of that changing any time soon – unlike music, where I haven’t bought any physical media for years.