Well, lots of writers of blogs are producing e books, some free, some for a nominal cost, and some now selling through Amazon, rulers of the book world. Interestingly there still seems to be the demand for a hard copy. Seth Godin talks about his vision of the future of books in this 26 minute interview (poor sound quality) with Leo Babatua - www.zenhabits.net/seth/
Kindles and i Pads have improved and are cheaper. Some friends are enthusing about the Kindle, it is undoubtedly a space and shelf and weight saving option. Let's just say it's not on my Santa list for this year.
I have ordered the illustrated version of The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal. Far from cheap editions and Kindle being the death knell of paper books, I like to think that books will once again become desirable objects to treasure and give as special gifts. I think this one may come into that category. Beautifully bound, it looks like a little work of art on its own. And it is a book I think I will reread more than once.
Some independent bookshops still appear to be doing well. Take a look at www.persephonebooks.co.uk which has an interesting website, and closer to home Bookpoint in Dunoon www.bookpointdunoon.com which has a wide choice of books and an ordering service, a book group and author events. They also sell my cards!
What do you think will be the future of books as we know them?
PS The Hare With Amber Eyes came today, and I have to confess I am a little disappointed. Small things - it doesn't have a dust jacket which I do like on a 'special' book, the binding isn't as out of the ordinary as I'd thought, and the illustrations are not captioned on the page where they occur, which means you have to break from your reading to look them up at a table in the back of the book. It kind of spoils the flow. Also I had hoped to be able to see much more detail in the photographs of the netsuke, but they are not big enough. However, for the Amazon price of £14.49 (rrp £25) including postage, it is still a very nice buy. Shame I have to send it back because it has a big scratch on the cover!