Whilst e-book sales have risen in the last few years due to the popularity of kindles and tablets, it seems the sales are slowing down, causing digital companies to re-think their approach. This is certainly true for Endeavour Press, a digital publishing company who are launching Endeavour Ink, supplying physical books as well as digital ones. Ultimately, the slowing digital book sales doesn’t surprise me. I think digital books attract people to read more due to the accessibility and ease of use of tablets, but do little to encourage those who do not buy books in the first place. And part of the joy of books is owning the physical copy, and seeing how much you’ve read, feeling the pages on the left gradually thicken as the pages on the right grow thinner. For favourite books, many people have multiple copies, with different covers. This is an aesthetic pleasure, displaying them on your bookshelf becomes part of the decorations of your house. You can’t do this with e-books, and although slightly cheaper, the cost is not worth it for the loss of having a physical book.
Whilst the slowing of e-book sales might worry digital companies, I for one am rather pleased- not that less books are being bought, but that physical books are definitely here to stay.There’s something special about that book smell, whether the pages are crisp white having just been printed or musky, thin and soft, holding not only the story of the book, but also the stories of those who read it before you. Crumpled pages, coffee stains and thinning spines all add to the joy of books. As a writer, I always dream of one day having the physical book in front of me, and as a reader, it is nice to physically see what you have bought. The solid shape of a book on your table will always be more exciting than a digital file on your kindle. E-books are great at encouraging people to read and for accessibility to books on long journeys, but physical books will always be preferred by me.