Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hope for the Publishing Industry

When I received a Kindle for Christmas, I somewhat skeptically entered the world of digital books. I found myself torn. I love the fact that the Kindle allows me to carry over 1,000 books around in my purse. I love that it lets me underline and annotate, and I love that I can look up unfamiliar words without going to the dictionary or the internet. Plus, replacing tens of thousands (millions?) of pages with one digital device seems like the eco-conscious thing to do.

That said, I hate the thought that there could come a day when publishers no longer see the benefit of producing physical books. I can't imagine living in a home without books, I love libraries and book stores, and an email notification that you have been gifted a digital download can never replace a the gift of an actual book with a handwritten inscription from a loved one.

Recently, I started to think that I would compromise by buying physical copies of books that I'm likely to return to - books of poetry and classics that I hope my kids will want to read, for example. When I came across these pictures of books that Penguin Classics will be releasing in the fall, I knew that was the way to go. I have no idea how much these will cost, but I need to own these. I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture, but the covers are embroidered.

Seriously, how gorgeous are these books? Here are two more book covers designed by another talented artist; these are from Random House.

I'm not familiar with Night at the Circus, but I know that I want that copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to come live on my bookshelf. So, new plan: I will buy digital copies of untested, popular fiction, and I will not feel guilty about it. When it comes to classics, the books I know I love, I will be willing to shell out a few extra bucks for a hard copy, and I won't feel guilty about that either.

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