I received a nice gift from a good friend and associate last week. It was a signed copy of restaurateur Danny Meyer’s 2006 book ‘Setting the Table’ (very good book too). I didn’t know it was signed until I opened the cover and saw the signature. It made me smile and it made me think about e-books and the constant drone that e-readers and e-books are going to eliminate the need for the printed book.
Having spent a good part of my career helping clients put ink on paper – a business that has changed (ok been reduced) dramatically I can relate to new technologies sweeping out the status quo. And while I still enjoy my 1st generation Amazon Kindle, I find that I carry it around mostly when I am traveling as a hedge to be sure I always have more than enough to read. I still enjoy a good old-fashioned printed book –hardcover or soft cover.
Now there are color e-readers and they come with even more features. This morning I read in the New York Times http://nyti.ms/dPXmMI about e-readers that can display picture books in spread form such that you can see the spread page as the author intended in the actual book. I think that is a good and useful feature. And yet I wonder if Mom or Dad and their young child would ‘curl up’ to read a picture e-book?
If you are out at a book signing would you ever hand over your Nook to the author to sign the latest copy of their hot new book? I am sure there will be a way (if there isn’t already) for authors to sign e-versions of their books. But to me it will never be or feel the same.
The point is that there is ample room for both e-readers and printed books to compatibly co-exist. I don’t want to give up my printed newspaper (although when I travel I am happy to read the e-version of my favored publications), or magazines. And I’ll say it –I am willing to pay more for the expense to put actual ink on paper.
I’m not sure it’s a luxury to have a printed book but if I were to have a signed copy of a book from any author, an e-signed book would leave me cold.
How about you?