Some think is inevitable.
That the rise of the Ebook spells the demise of the physical book.
It could indeed be an event to celebrate.
➢ We’ll be saving countless forests.
➢ There’ll be less pollution from transporting all those tomes in their heavy cardboard boxes, often in smoke-belching trucks and container ships.
➢ Wastage, when pulping unsold books, will be nil.
And think of the advantages …
➢ We’ll be able to read those books as soon as they’re out, even if in New York or London. No need to wait months and months.
➢ Books can be a lot shorter. They don’t need to be 300 pages long when a eighty will do.
➢ We can buy individual essays or short stories.
➢ We can subscribe to newspapers and magazines.
I thought these things as I wandered down the street. Then I popped into a bookshop and a feeling of delectable warmth came over me. The books on their shelves. Each holding a secret, an entire world in its pages. Other people were browsing. I wondered who they were. What books they were interested in.
This is a place for browsing. For buying. For chatting. For perhaps bumping into someone you know. A place of meditation, perhaps.
The book must continue to reign supreme. The bookshop is part of that kingdom.
Ebooks should complement physical books. But it can never, must never, usurp it.