“There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.”
“I loved words. I love to sing them and speak them and even now, I must admit, I have fallen into the joy of writing them.”
In this world of high-tech gadgets and gizmos, of social media and texting, I find it comforting to know that print is alive and well. A few findings to hearten the hard-copy, books-with-paper pages lovers among us:
When asked which format they used in the past year in a recent survey, readers preferred books to e-books by three to one (67 percent of those responding said they read print books; 23 percent preferred e-books, and 13 percent of readers preferred audio books).
Despite the demise of Newsweek, print journalism everywhere isn’t bleeding red ink: Newsweeklies Time and The Economist are going strong. Across America, national, regional, and local newspapers are holding their own, from New York City and Washington, DC to Sioux City, Iowa to San Francisco.
And during Hurricane Sandy, when the office of a local weekly newspaper residents depended on for community connection was flooded, the paper didn’t fold and fade away. Instead, its intrepid publisher and her team retreated to her house. There they set up shop in a day or two and began printing again, determined not to let the storm wash away their words and leave their community without a lifeline. Bravo, print preservers!
On a more personal front, when my brother Peter requested the third volume of The Last Lion trilogy, I passed on Amazon and trotted over to my neighborhood print Mecca, the wonderful Watchung Booksellers, and had a lovely new copy wrapped in holiday paper festooned with dancing snowmen. And I was not alone: there was plenty of action in the aisles. Very heartening indeed!