Posted by: Jeanie F | July 8, 2010

Another Writer Weighs in on E-Books

Novelist Paul Levine is the latest in what is becoming a long list of writers to comment on the proliferation of e-books. In  his editorial, “Move Over Gutenberg: Will E-Books Spell the End of Paper and Ink,” published in the July 8 edition of the Huffington Post, Levine declares that “e-books are to traditional publishing what the internal combustion engine was to the horse and buggy.”  This is, perhaps, the most apt comparison I’ve come across in the ongoing debate of e-book vs paper books.

I’ve maintained the belief that there is room for both, and I still hope to always have options about the medium in which I choose to read, but Levine makes some compelling points in support of electronic publishing:

  • young tech-saavy kids may turn to reading in a digital format in greater numbers;
  • fewer trees are killed;
  • emerging authors have a better chance of being published or, for a fairly reasonable cost, can opt to self-publish;
  • the cost of electronic publishing may keep the price of books (especially the classics, which are often free) within the reach of more readers;
  • books can remain in print for longer periods of time since they aren’t competing with shelf space in a bookstore.

Change is hard, but Levine makes an apt comparison to the music industry’s process of digitalization. As much as I loved the album covers of my old LPs (and a CD cover will never do justice to the fabulous “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” jacket), I do love the fact that I can carry hundreds of songs, podcasts, and movies around with me on my tiny iPod. With all deference to Herr Gutenberg, I believe it is inevitable – the times, they are a’changing!


  1. Im with you, both have a place. I enjoy having an ebook on hand on my iphone so I can read wherever I am, even if I am out somewhere where I haven’t been able to carry a book with me. Ebooks = convenience for me.

    But they won’t replace the real thing!

  2. I’m just hopping by to wish you a good day and lots of good books.

    Ms. Martin Teaches Media

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