[Over half a millenium ago, the Gutenberg bible electrified the world. It cost a lot to print and a lot to buy. It may still be the most expensive book in the world.
There are only 21 complete copies left. At the last auction at which it was offered, and that was in 1978, it went for $2.2 million.
I thought I might have one in my private library, but when I checked, it was the King James version. Not so much in demand.
Anyway, this post is about e-books. Just as the print book revolutionized the literary universe, now the electronic book is upsetting the book cart.
The following link describes the impact on the UK. In September 2008, one company introduced the e-book to its customers. Today, almost three years down the road, twenty per cent of the reading public now prefer e-books.
Traditional libraries and bookstores are trembling from the seismic shocks. Many have closed; others are scrambling to stay afloat. Because . . . e-books are cheap. Cheap, convenient, and portable. So portable that you can carry several thousand in one hand.
Librarians and booksellers now face a major challenge. And they will, I really believe, rise to the challenge. Once upon a time, they faced the advent of the new books on the block – the print book – and they adjusted quite well. We no longer yearn for ye olde sheepskin and vellum.
And as long as I’m around, I’ll be supporting my local librarians and booksellers:]