Is This the Last Chapter for Paperbacks?

Last week, book superstore Borders filed for bankruptcy and stated that it will be closing more than 200 stores, due to declining sales. This announcement comes on the heels of last month’s report that Kindle book sales overtook paperback sales on – something that came as no surprise to publishing and technology industry analysts, but was quite a shock to me.

When I was a child, I would hide books in my clothes so that I could excuse myself from class to go sit on the bathroom floor and read for 10 minutes. So, as a lifelong book lover, it seems unfathomable to me that anyone would choose an e-book over a hard copy. And many of my book-loving colleagues at Linda Costa Communications Group  agree. We’ve had several conversations about the joys of a full bookshelf and a few of us even freely swap books, because we feel that great literature is meant to be shared. But, apparently, we’re in the minority.

For years, magazines and newspapers have been adjusting their business models to accommodate consumers’ shifting interest to reading publications in a digital format; our own Orlando Sentinel recently launched a comprehensive mobile app that enables readers to grab their news on the go. And, last week, Apple announced that publication apps will be forced to adopt a new subscription model – another sign that print publications are being squeezed out. Clearly, times are a-changin’ and it won’t be long before we don’t run to an airport kiosk to grab the latest copy of Sports Illustrated or the newest New York Times best seller.

But, in the meantime, I’m holding on tight to my paperback books.

What about you? Do you prefer e-books or do you like to read your books the “old fashioned” way?


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