stack of six books

Is the Print Book Destined to Become a Souvenir?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

For many people the print book serves as a reminder — a souvenir — of the initial reading experience.

By Edward Nawotka

stack of six booksToday’s feature story looks at Book Slam’s experiments with publishing. The organization opted to produce their first work in several different formats, including a downloadable audiobook, an e-book, and a pricey hardcover. The hardcover is a limited edition, and serves as something of a “souvenir” of the Book Slam experience. Increasingly, as people move toward consuming books digitally, buying a physical copy of the same book seems redundant. What role does the physical copy have in the digital world? For some it does indeed serve as a physical reminder of the initial reading experience, but for others print is still the primary reading experience. Do they feel significantly different about the object? Philosophically, is there a good reason to keep a book around once you’ve read it, unless you plan to read it again? Are all books, once you’ve read them, essentially “souvenirs”?

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About the Author

Edward Nawotka

Edward Nawotka is the Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. A former foreign correspondent, he has covered the book business since 2000, serving as daily news editor for Publishers Weekly and columnist for Bloomberg News.