I read a great article recently in my local Galway Advertiser newspaper written by Des Kenny, a long-respected book shop proprietor in Galway City about the advent of the E-Reader. You can read it here. As a writer, the opportunities arising from the growth in popularity of E-books has opened a whole new world of self-publishing, that gives the author a direct route to the reader. E-books have changed the face of publishing, but what does this mean for the reader?
While the E-book has been around for a quite a few years already, many people are still getting to grips with E-readers such as Kindle and Kobo. Being of a certain vintage myself, my love of print books is also deep-rooted and I doubted whether that connection would ever be swayed by advances in technology. However I quickly became hooked and I now see E-readers not as a threat to books, but as just another tool to make reading more convenient. As Mr. Kenny writes, most people catch up on their reading lists while on holidays, so the most convenient way to travel with your books is to load them onto your E-reader.
However that is just the tip of the iceberg. E-books are significantly cheaper to buy and instantly available to download. Also, there are hundreds of thousands of E-books out there that just aren’t available in traditional bookshops. You still can’t beat a trip to the local bookshop for a mooch, because that’s the kind of sensory experience you just can’t get in an online bookstore. (Especially in Kenny’s!) So again, it’s a matter of choice.
But then I watch my niece (who has a voracious appetite for books) switch seamlessly from her worn old paperback favourites like Enid Blyton to her beloved Louisa May Alcott on her Kindle. For her, there is no distinction between page and screen, just a story to be discovered and rediscovered. So it seems to me that one does not replace the other, but as with most modern conveniences, the E-reader simply offers us more choice.
Speaking of choice, it’s worth doing some research into which brand of E-reader you would like to buy, as you will be purchasing all of your E-books through that distributor. Irish author David Gaughran’s article Amazon Holds Back The Growth Of E-Books Around The World makes for very interesting reading in this regard. But whatever your device, The Cross Of Santiago is available to buy in all formats – the choice is yours!