Saturday, 17 October 2009

Is the Book Dead?

Throughout September and October I’ve been engrossed writing the first part of my work in progress, which is a sequel to House of Angels.

You can read a review for this latest title on Bookbag:

Sadly as a result of all this dedication, or perhaps obsession is a better word, things like blogs, newsletters, websites and dinner for my lovely David all get forgotten.

We did enjoy a few days break in London which was all very bookish. I attended a couple of meetings: one with the RNA where Freya North gave a fascinating and inspirational talk, and one with the Society of Authors where it was debated whether the book was dead. Fortunately it was decided that there was still life in the analogue, battery-free book. And why not? People still listen to radio, don’t they, so why shouldn’t they go on reading real paper books, and not just e-books? It’s seriously scary though that a college in Boston is selling off and giving away their collection of books from its library, apparently to save space, and turning entirely to digital. Do students no longer browse along the shelves, dipping into the delights a book might offer simply out of curiosity? Do they always know what they are looking for, and can they be certain of finding it online? And do they not realise that computers and e-readers are far more environmentally unfriendly than a book made from recycled paper? Read a printed book and save the planet. How’s that for a campaign? I love the feel, the smell of books, the sight of them stacked on my bookshelves, the promise of a pile of new ones by my bed waiting to reveal their secrets. Whether or not I am tempted to buy an e-reader, long may the book live.

Best wishes, Freda


  1. I still listen to the radio and I could never be without my books, so yes, long may the book live.
    All the very best,

  2. I believe there is a place in the world for ebooks, but print books will always be with us, at least I hope so. I'd be lost without them.

  3. I too am tempted to get an e-reader. It would be so easy on a flight, or a train journey, wouldn't it? But I'm hoping it will be an extra facility for reading, and not a replacement. But if e-books damage sales of printed books, will that affect the range available in book shops? If so, then the switch to e-books would surely accelerate.
    Cheers, Freda