As of 1 April, says Amazon, they were selling 105 e-books for every 100 printed books. The good news, though, is that they’re also selling more books in total. People really are reading more, it seems. This is good news for authors and for publishers. Now is not the time for doom and gloom.
Yes, I know books smell wonderful. No need to alert me to that fact. And that they provide a great tactile experience. Indeed. But enough about books; let’s talk about me: I carry a library of books with me in my handbag. Which is why last week, when I was heading home from work and passed a quaint little pub and pulled in, I ended up staying for hours and hours: I ‘happened’ to have a book with me in my iPad that was gripping. I read and read and read and… No matter how wonderful books smell, I wouldn’t have had the most charmingly fragranced one with me on that occasion.
And another of my favourites (did I mention, this is all about me?): the writer in me loves the way I can highlight bits and pieces. In the aforementioned pub, I found myself highlighting all kinds of facts, which I’ll be able to quickly find again, either to form the words and sentences in my mouth and head to inspire my own writing, or to quote the facts, once again in my own writing.
Does that mean I’m done with printed books? Not at all. Just this morning I was close to tears with the emotion of finally holding a book we’ve been working on for quite some time. Called ‘Beneath‘, this is a weighty hardcover with the most sublime illustrations. ‘Exploring the Unconscious in Individuals’ says our slugline. It’s a book that I, as a reader, would want in e-book AND hard copy format. The e-book would be where I’d highlight and search and be able to dip in. The hard copy would be the one I’d sit on the couch in solitude and read with all seriousness as I try to work out why the hell I’m reverting to the same old patterns that have screwed up previous relationships. It’d be a heavy read. A serious one. A soulful one.
You need paper for that.
Below, the cover and some sample pages to show the beautiful photographs and illustrations that bring Beneath to life.