by Meredith Cole
Let me look in my crystal ball to find the answer to this week's question...
Ah, the future. What will it be like? Will we still have books made of paper? Actual books stores where you can physically browse the merchandise? Or will books all be delivered in digital formats? Or a mixture of both? And what would I want in an ideal world?
The last few years in publishing have been, in a word, confusing. Bookstores have closed. Bookstores have opened. E-books skyrocketed up in sales, and then they leveled off. And one thing I know, as a published author, that there's nothing "ideal" about any of it. But just like any crazy time in history (the gold rush, the oil boom...) people have seen opportunity, and others have despaired in the odds. Self-publishing has boomed and mid-list authors have been cut. It's a jungle out there.
Look, I love books. Real books. I like to curl up with paper and turn real pages. But I also own a Kindle now (thanks Santa!), and I've realized that it's pretty darn convenient to buy something you want to read (or borrow it from the library) and two minutes later it's ready. So I see both sides of the issue.
The truth is, in an ideal world, I see myself writing. And writing. And writing some more in the years ahead. And hopefully there will be people out there who will continue to read what I write. If they read it on papyrus or paper or computer or 6 words at a time on their phone or have it read aloud to them, that doesn't really matter to me. As long as they keep reading and I continue to get to do what I love.