Mamata roots for physical books at book fair inaugural
Expressing her preference for physical books, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said they can never be replaced by e-books
I like e-books and am confident that they will disrupt hard and soft covers forever. The only issue is copyright protection. Amazon Kindle has DRM protection whereas e-pub publishers and distributors like Smashword care less: they believe in the inherent nobleness of mankind. Whatever…one thing is for sure that people don’t plagiarize in general. They may do piracy, but they don’t plagiarize. Alongside paid e-books, another revolution is taking place, which is of free e-books on digital libraries like Gutenberg, Internet Archive, Scribd, Overdrive, Free-Ebooks, etc; mostly in PDF. So, these three formats along with DJVU are certainly going to replace physical books. However, I have a feeling that price of books may still rise. That’s because artificial promotion and advertising in social media clubbed with paid reviews have made people cynical. Even otherwise, book reading is a time consuming exercise. So, people will again fall back upon the time tested comfort from the big publishers, albeit this time on the digital platform. The only reason the e-books are not as popular as they ought to be is because the established authors, for all the valid reasons, have not taken up Indie authorship yet, and the Indie authors have not gained that kind of respectability yet. This gap will reconcile either through the establishment of Indie authors in their own right or through the migration of the established authors to digital platform whether through Indie authorship or through the traditional publishers. However, if the free e-books revolution picks up pace — which can happen only if peer reviews become genuine — money will become redundant in at least one sphere of economy, and that would be fun, for the real disruption waiting to happen is money-less economy.