Would you be reading that book if it wasn’t an e-book?
E-books, e-books, e-books. It’s unsurprisingly the biggest topic in the publishing industry at the moment, with more books being published only in e-book format, the ongoing debate about 20p e-book offers, and the natural worries of how e-books will affect the future of the bookshop…
My question to you e-book readers out there is, are you reading the same books you would have been reading anyway, only now you are reading them on your ipad/Kindle? Or are you picking different books to read simply because they are available as e-books?
I saw a woman on the tube reading a book entitled (roughly) How to Please Your Husband and add Spark to Your Marriage and had to admire her unabashed willingness to advertise her marital plans to the rest of the carriage. E-books allow you to keep your reading choice private. How many people might have been deterred from buying Fifty Shades of Grey if they had to flaunt the book cover in public?
My husband has taken to reading on his ipad. He just finished The Time Machine by H G Wells, and now Homer’s The Odyssey. Admittedly, his new foray into classics may have been instigated by his recent reading of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (he found my old university copy on our bookshelf), but, would he have sought out these others if they weren’t available for free from iBooks? Unlikely.
Naturally, even in the physical book world, offers can sway a reader from choosing one book from another. But are your reading choices now primarily based on what you can find for 99p or 20p on Kindle? Are you therefore, less discerning in your choice of book?
Or perhaps you only turn to e-books (and the low-prices) to explore new authors – as a more economical way of taking a punt on a name you’ve never heard of. Would you take that same risk with a hardback or paperback?
It all had me thinking. How different would your reading list be if e-books didn’t exist?
Chiara Priorelli, Publicity & Online Marketing Manager