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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | April 15, 2021

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Please, books are by no means 'dead'

Please, books are by no means ‘dead’

| On 06, Nov 2013

With the ongoing bankruptcy claim by Boarders Bookstores, the joining of two of the worlds largest English- language publishers, Penguin and Random House, and the continue decline in global book sales, year after year – it has become no secret that books are suffering under the thumb of societies increasing digital dependency.

These days, when the topic of books surfaces, more then enough nasties are thrown around.

By books, I mean a collection of paper pages that must be physically picked up and turned in order for one to read a story – not a touch screen with dimmed lighting that acts as an impersonation of actual paper and reveals a story with one swooping flick of a finger.

And by nasties, I mean phrases along the lines of ‘books are dead,’ and ‘generation Y equals the end of paper’.

Much to my discontent, the above statements and agreeing opinions alike, I will admit that the odds have begun to stack up against my dearly beloved books.

Unsure whether I was alone in my hopeless heartache for the livelihood of books, I set out to find some equally sympathetic, book loving Brisbane residents to share in my fight to bring books back… Bring books back, bring books back!

CD: What do you have to say to those who say that books are dying?

I think books in their traditional form are losing their popularity, but books are not necessarily dead. We’re in an age of convenience where it’s just easier to have five books stored on an iPad rather than lugging paperback versions around. It’s all about the fact that the world is evolving and books are trying to keep up. Ultimately, if books are bought electronically, writers will still get money. I don’t think books in their traditional form are void just yet though. Every time I walk into a bookstore I see a queue at the register at least five-deep.” – Rebecca Thompson, Journalism student

“What do I say to those who say that books are dead? I say that they are wrong.” – Jessica Rodwell, Avid reader

“Firstly, it’s important to distinguish the medium (physical books) from the message (the stories they contain). Neither is going to die, but they will change. The music industry is a good point of reference here – vinyl once dominated, but emerged after a period of decline as a highly collectible, boutique product. Physical books are going through the same transformation, less likely everyday items and more like niche status symbols. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Imagine the Harry Potter series bound in beautiful leather, studded with semi-precious stones and personally signed by Rowling. Now that’s a collectible.” – Ash Hauenschild, Writer

“It doesn’t take much digging to find out that books have been dying off for years now. I mean, who has anything in paper form these days? I tend to think that paper is just for those who are technologically challenged and a gripping on to what is left of a somewhat tangible life where things existed not only on a device or behind a screen. Books are different though. When it comes to books, every one knows that there is nothing better then actually being able to feel the pages and the binding of the book covers when you read. Imagine getting into bed with your kindle… No thank you. This e-book situation just doesn’t do it for me.” – Jordan Bailey, Scriptwriter/Director

“I would say that books will never die, despite what people may say. Reading a physical paperback novel is still better than reading it on a screen, that will never change.” – Lauren Payne, Creative Writing student

So there you have it folks. Books are not dead and if Brisbane has anything to say about it, they never will be.