Technology has acim a terrifying yet progressive force, especially with the book industry. Whether it be movies, scanners or e-books, the book industry has faced threats before. But is the oncoming digital age for books a threat to the books industry or is it a blessing? This is a topic of heated debate for many. The horror books collectors claim that digital books also known as e-books is a bad step for the industry, while many more casual readers claim that the digitization of horror books is simply a natural progression and necessary step with ever evolving technology.
With Amazon, soon Apple and many others releasing e-book reading devices, it seems that the digitization of books is an unavoidable evolution. Does this mean that physical horror books will disappear altogether? Of course not, but it does mean they will almost certainly decrease in volume and the more casual readers will prefer the convenience of buying and automatically downloading whatever horror book they feel like reading directly to their e-book reader. Let’s face it, it’s pretty darn convenient to have a tablet the size of a book that can hold thousands of books in a single package, and from which you can shop online for any book imaginable and not have to wait for shipping.
However, there are many, including myself, that will always prefer to have physical horror books on their shelves and in their hands. It’s not all about convenience, it’s about the experience of reading an actual book, and the aesthetics of actual books. Sitting down next to the fire with a good book can be accomplished with an e-book reader, but it’s just not the same. There’s a certain pleasure in feeling the paper between your fingers as you turn the page, and being able to feel the smooth and bumpy surface of the cover art. But to me, the most important aspect of having actual horror books is the element of aesthetics. I love having bookshelf after bookshelf lined with books with gorgeous cover art. Who can honestly say they don’t prefer to have a beautiful, thick book in their hands with gorgeous cover art as compared to a thin e-book reader?
But alas my friends, the books industry is changing at a rapid pace. E-books will become a strong if not dominant force in the industry and it looks as if there’s not much we can do to stop it. However, perhaps we don’t want to? Think about it. If you’re a horror books collector and you’ve got shelves and shelves chalk full of some of the finest books, can you imagine how much those will be worth twenty or thirty years from now when the industry is largely in e-book format? If you considered your books collection an investment before, consider the oncoming digital book revolution a blessing. Why? Because your physical, tangible books will sky rocket in value. So in the end I suppose, it’s not all bad. Let us just hope that books continue to surge in popularity and face the new technological age head on, or hand-in-hand, depending on where you stand.