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The Future of Books: Don’t Worry Get Digital

So though I loved reading Hick by Andrea Portes and The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach while on vacay in Belgium and London, I have to admit to resent the books a bit. My backpack was heavy, and I didn’t appreciate being further loaded down by two paperbacks.

I actually tried to download both on my Kindle before I left, but alas, neither was available as a digital download. Because I really wanted to read both of these books, I packed them, but as I had to lug them throughout Europe, even after I was done reading them, I thought to myself, these are the last books that I’m ever going to travel with. From now, I vowed, if it can’t be downloaded, it doesn’t come on the plane.

And certainly that was true on my way to Texas. I brought my Kindle and my Kindle cord and that was it as far as reading material goes.

Some might call me spoiled by technology. My 14yo nephew-in-law, Josh G from Future So Bright actually argued for the romance of reading an actual book. I can only assume that this stance is because he has yet to experience the joy of always having more than one book available to you without having to actually carry around a book. Use the Kindle for a few months, then we can talk about how much you love physical books. As it was, when CH pointed out that one day kids might be able to to download all of their text books aas opposed to carrying them around in a super-heavy back pack, Josh quickly jumped on the hypothetical digital reader bandwagon.

To be sure, we’ll keep on stocking up our bookshelf. According to Freakanomics, kids that grow up with actual books in the home are smarter, plus the bookshelves look really cute in our living room.

However, I would advise all writers to make sure that their publishers put out digital versions of their books — otherwise, no matter how much I love your work, I probably won’t be reading your words. And though I may sound like a digital nut case — I also don’t buy non-digitized music from actual stores anymore either — trust me when I say that Kindles and other digital readers will come down in price and eventually become the must-have for any busy reader. So, seriously, negotiate it into your publishing contracts. Like now.

Think I’m alone? Check out this NYT item re: The dying physical book and the coming digital age.