TGIF at GReads is a feature for recapping the week’s posts and answering a book-blogging question posed by Ginger. I plan on joining in from time to time when I have some interesting thoughts on the question at hand.
This week the question is: What are some bookish trends you are noticing in the literature world today? Is there a particular trend you’d like to see more of?
I’m not entirely sure I’m qualified for identifying trends as I am usually the person who is totally behind the trend, but one thing I am finding interesting is the move to digital forms of reading. E-readers and tablets are popping up everywhere, becoming more affordable and practical. Sales of tablets are predicted to surpass the sales of laptops by the year 2015 (according to a study by Forrester and repeated all over the place). That prediction surprised me, especially when I thought about what it meant for reading. It wasn’t that long ago I remember hearing a story on NPR about how electronic books would never replace paper ones because of the consumer’s resistance to change.
I, for one, do not own a tablet or an e-reader. I looked at them about a year ago, thinking I would like to have instant access to whatever I wanted to read. But the cost of ebooks is often ridiculous (It’s only a computer file! I know, I know, I pay lots of money for computer files like Windows 7, but I have trouble making the two seem equivalent in my mind). I also decided that it made more sense for where I was financially to make greater use of my public library. I feel a little left out in the blogging world because it seems I am the only person who doesn’t have one of these gadgets, but I still don’t think that an e-reader is right for me right now. I’d probably drop it in a bathtub or something.
That being said, I am generally positive about the spread of digital means of reading. I like the idea of instant access to what you want to read, that you can have a library that uses hard drive space and not physical space or paper, and that there is increased access to a wider array of reading material, especially for those without the benefits of a huge library system. I am also in favor of a medium which allows for an increase in the diversity of material produced though means such as self-publishing. I don’t really have an opinion on the quality of self-published things, since I’ve never read any (and probably won’t due to the lack of e-reader), but I like at least the idea that electronic publishing is less elitist and gives opportunities for people to be heard who might not otherwise be.
I have also read that e-readers are changing what people read in public because it is far easier to hide an embarrassing cover. There are also reports claiming e-readers actually increase the number of readers out there. I think it is interesting to consider how a different medium for reading changes how or what we read and who reads and am curious to see how things continue to change in the future.
Are you a fan of your e-reader? Have your reading habits changed as a result?
Feel free to leave me your TGIF links so I can check out the bookish trends you identified!
As for my highlighted posts for the week: