Whisper it quietly...
December 14, 2014 8:22 PM Subscribe
“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.” -- Robert Jordan
During the first decade of the new century, [the book] sector cornered the market in gloomy predictions that the end of the world was nigh. The digital revolution, plus Amazon, plus the credit crunch, seemed to add up to a literary apocalypse. There were moments, some CEOs in book publishing now concede, when they could hardly see a commercial way forward. A mood of panic quickly spread, with many dire predictions.
In Britain, hardbacks were said to be on the rocks, libraries doomed, the ebook all conquering, with the Visigoths of online selling storming through the high street. Among writers, with the tumbleweed blowing down Grub Street, the garret loomed. ... Now, as the all-important Christmas season comes into play, Daunt is one of a growing number of senior people in the book trade who see that this is not, after all, the beginning of the end but – possibly – the end of the beginning. ...
And here’s where new selling techniques meet age-old instincts. 'Do not underestimate,' he instructs, 'the pleasures of reading. The satisfactions of the book, in the age of social media and proliferating cultural choices, are very singular.' The pleasures of reading morph into the aesthetic delights of print and paper. Reading a favourite novel on a screen is like tasting a vintage wine through a straw. The unintended consequence of the ebook, Daunt reports, has been to make many readers return to the hardback.
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