Thursday, March 1, 2007

Print is Dead, or Is It?

By Hana K.

"Print is dead."

Those three words never fail to elicit a groan from my lips. The first time I saw that line, I had to shake my head and laugh. Print is dead? How ridiculous. Print will never die. As a book lover and writer, that line is nonsense to me.

Yet, I keep hearing about the death toll of the publishing industry. I keep hearing that no one reads anymore. People would rather spend their time reading Cosmo or Maxim than picking up the latest bestseller. Movies, television, internet, and the iPod. With all these new distractions, do books stand a chance?

I also hear a lot about the new trend of e-publishing. It's not really new since electronic publishing has been around for several years. A lot of literary journals are now online. You can buy electronic versions of your favorite novels and nonfiction titles. All you need is a computer or a hand-held reader to read your favorite "book."

Some e-publishers are flourishing, and many more are joining their ranks. Publishers specializing in romance and erotic romance are excited about the future. For years, e-publishers have been excited about the changing face of publishing. Recently UC Irvine held a seminar on the future of e-publishing.

Is e-publishing the new revolution? Is print really on its way out? As an e-published author (under a pen name), I should be thrilled by the new trend. I should root for the demise of print. I should convince all my friends to buy the latest reader and dump their personal libraries.

However, I love print. I always have, and I always will. I like e-books, but I prefer reading books in print. I love holding the book, studying its cover, and leafing through the pages. Ever since I was young, I loved the smell of a new book. I'm always excited when I receive a book as a gift. On a quiet evening, I lounge in my comfortable chair and have a book on my lap. I don't need a clunky piece of technology to read a print book.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the opportunities given by the internet. My first publication credits were with online magazines and e-publishing companies. I like being able to email my submissions to internet magazines and journals. I don't have to deal with snail mail anymore. As a writer, I will continue to submit to online publications.

My eventual goal is to land a publishing contract with one of those big publishing companies. Being an e-published author is nice, but I want my name to appear in print. I have had a few stories published in print anthologies. Whenever I receive my contributor copies, I take a moment to study the cover. Then I study the table of contents to find my name. Seeing my name in print reminds me why I became a writer. Print will never die as long as writers keep putting out quality work. I plan to become one of those writers.


Anonymous said...

Hi there; good entry, except I believe that print really is dead, and I just wrote a book called Print is Dead: Books in Our Internet Age which talks about the demise of print and the rise in digital reading. Anyway, you can check out a blog I've started for the book at

Take care,


3M said...


I am one who is grateful for access to e-texts not under copyright, but much prefer the feel of an actual book and paper and print in my hand. I won't go to bed with all these new fangled gadgets like I will with an actual book! I can't imagine that ever changing for me.