Social networking for romance readers
What is the future of book formats? We know that ebooks and download audio books are growing in popularity but paper book formats are going through troubled times. This is a really interesting article by Emily Rhodes for The Spectator on the rarity of hardbacks now by women writers. According to Ian McEwan "when women stop reading, the novel will be dead."
This made me think about when I ever buy books in hardback. The answer, almost never. But it is not for reasons of price. I'd love to have more hardbacks - they look great on the bookshelf, and books should be treasured. But I don't because they are awkward to read, plain and simple. So I'm not even sure this is about a gender agenda and literary snobbery but perhaps the same market forces that have seen serious newspapers shrink: I love it now that proper newspapers come Daily Mail sized, the old broadsheets were so unwieldy.
Is it time for a high quality paper book format that has all the lightness and practicality of a paperback? What about those travel guides with thick but bendable glossy covers and clean, white paper inside. Would you pay £12 for a novel like that? I think I might.
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