The publishing company that brought us Harry Potter, Bloomsbury, has been faced with an increase of fifteen percent from China for books printed there. This happened overnight on the first of September.
Image via BriefedUp
According to Chief Executive Nigel Newton, the company wasn’t prepared for this increase but they are doing their best to take it in stride. This increase should only have a small impact for the finical year, but could possibly cause some issues in the future. Newton says that illustrated books, such as the Harry Potter illustrated editions are published in China due to the good pricing and quality.
Unfortunately from March to August there was a five percent decrease in Sales, but Newton wasn’t worried about future sales. When E-books were forced introduced everyone feared how they would take over, but according to Newton, it doesn’t matter if it’s an e-book or printed copy, they’re still buying a book from the company, so E-books just helped increase sales.
It comes as no surprise to book lovers that author J.D. Salinger would be adverse to publishing his novels electronically. His personal beliefs come out in his novels. If you even mentioned the idea of reading a book on a computer to Holden Caulfield, he would have had a conniption.
Salinger stayed away from the press as his literary fame grew, but was very open about his dislike of books changing during the digital age. However, this week, his son, Matt Salinger announced that his four published novel would in fact be available for the first time in e-book form.
Image via Penguin Books
After Salinger died in 2010, his son has been overseeing the J.D. Salinger Literary Trust and making every decision with his legendary father in mind. Despite his father’s aversion to advancing technology, he said “There were few things my father loved more than the full tactile experience of reading a printed book, but he may have loved his readers more — and not just the ‘ideal private reader’ he wrote about, but all his readers.”
Salinger’s son also hinted at his father’s unpublished manuscripts that he hopes to publish in the future. Be on the lookout, literary fans, Salinger’s posthumous releases may just give us the next great literary character (so we can finally all stop quoting Holden for once).
Some book publishers are rethinking the way they distribute their e-books to public libraries. Thanks to the convention of digital-book borrowing apps, many readers are able to read new titles on their tablets without having to wait for a physical book to be returned. This is especially relevant when big releases such as Michael Wolff’sFire and Furyand James Comey’sA Higher Loyalty are in popular demand. Readers flocked to these books the second that they hit the shelves, so digital book-borrowing apps became extremely convenient for those that wanted to rent the book without having to wait.
However, Macmillan, who published both Wolff and Comey’s books, are not as thrilled. With such widespread access to their most popular books, the company believes that they’re losing potential sales.
“Library reads are currently 45% of our total digital book reads in the U.S. and growing,” Macmillan Chief Executive John Sargent told The Wall Street Journal. “They are cannibalizing our digital sales.”
It is for this reason that Macmillan plans to limit each library system’s access to one digital copy of each new book it publishes in the first eight weeks of the book’s release. The action is set to take place on November 1st, and the hope is that more people will be inclined to purchase new books, instead of easily renting them.
Image via Google Play
Steve Potash, chief executive of Rakuten OverDrive, a digital distributor of e-books, replied to Macmillan’s move: “It will create a backlash against Macmillan books and their authors. Libraries encourage and showcase authors to readers. Now libraries will have a hard time doing that for Macmillan.”
Whether the decision to rubberneck e-book copies is fruitful or not is yet to be seen. However, for those of you digital-book borrowers out there, be prepared to wait for Macmillan’s new releases—or at least be prepared to fork over the money to buy a copy for yourself.
“We wanted to conduct this study because shared book reading is one of the most important developmental activities families can engage in. It promotes a love of reading, early childhood literacy, and attachment between trusted caregivers and their children”
Dr. Tiffany G. Munzer | Image via Pediatrics – AAP Gateway
For the study thirty-seven healthy parent-toddler pairs were gathered to read three book formats: enhanced electronic, with sound effects and/or animation; basic electronic; and print. The reading was recorded for each book read, and what the researchers were looking for was bond building, verbal communication, and connection to the reading itself between the parent and child.
Unfortunately for tablet and E-reader fanatics, the results were not in favor for electronic books whatsoever.
The gist of the results are that with E-books overall, the bonds between parent and child, the connection and focus on the story being told, and even the speed in which a book is read are all lessened.
Image via raisesmartkid.com
The researchers believed this was due in part to the special features that E-books have over print books being too distracting for toddlers. Tiffany G. Munzer M.D. noted:
[T]he enhancements in electronic books interfere with reading comprehension, and parents verbalize less overall on electronic books compared with print…Toddlers [are at] an important developmental age…because of their immature attention capacity, which might make them more susceptible to these distracting enhancements.
Most of the time during the study, parents would have to stop reading because their child pushed the wrong button, or tapped the touchscreen incorrectly.
Maybe this is because toddlers are new to E-book technology, but if you think about it, toddlers are new to just about everything aside from eating, pooping, napping, and crying. Just a thought.
Image via Tenor
Overall the results found that print books gave parents and toddlers a much better bonding experience where the child wasn’t distracted by any special graphics or lights. The pairs more often shared questions and comments for a discussion on what they were reading as well.
Image via Dyslexia Association of Ireland
In an interview with ABC News Tamba Bay Munzer proclaimed, “The print book is really the gold standard in eliciting positive interactions between parents and their children.”In the post for American Academy of Pediatrics, Munzer also recommended that “pediatricians may wish to continue recommending print books over electronic books for toddlers and their parents.”
In the end print books win this battle, but the war continues.
What if I told you that despite the popular belief that children are more likely to read on a device like an iPad or a Kindle, research shows that this isn’t necessarily true.
The study showed that children in Years 4 and 6 who had consistent access to devices that could be used as eReaders didn’t typically use these devices to read, even if they were reading books daily. The study also showed that the more devices the children had access to, the less they read overall. This suggests that electronic reading devices can actually hinder reading in children.
A previous study showed similar results in teenagers; some students enjoyed reading books on electronic devices, but most of the students did not use their devices for this purpose. The study showed the teenagers reading the highest quantity of books at the highest frequency did not read on a screen.
Education writer Marc Prensky first coined the term “digital natives”, characterizing a whole generation of children with “high digital literacy and a uniform preference for screen-based reading.” The issue within this mindset is the same with standardized testing – not all children have the same skills and abilities.
The misconception grew, impacting decisions for schools and public libraries not only in the United States. Some libraries have removed all paper books as a response, while more and more schools, from elementary to college levels, are increasing their use of digital resources.
For me, the reasons why reading on a screen is less ideal than reading from a printed book are numerous. I’m easily distracted on a screen. I like the feel of flipping pages. Notifications from everyone make it hard to keep track of where I am. Books just feel great in your hands. I could go on, but I think you get the point.
With both children and teenagers proven to read better on printed books, it’s only a matter of time before it’s scientifically proven that everyone prefers a book to an eReader. So let’s come together as a society and stop focusing so hard on eReaders and start focusing back on print. Right?