Thursday, October 25, 2012

Quote of the day

"I certainly believe that ownership of the physical book does matter. Whereas that little file embedded in a piece of plastic isn't pretty to look at. You can't lend it. You can't sell it. And you can't bequeath it to your children. Digital is convenient in some situations - travelling, or reading at night when you don't want to wake the wife. But it is also fundamentally unsatisfactory in all sorts of other ways. And that will preserve the physical book as being the majority choice for some foreseeable time, even fiction."

It's heartening to know that the managing director of Waterstone's (yes, I'm reinstating the apostrophe) James Daunt shares my attitude to the value of physical cultural artefacts relative to their electronic forms.

Less heartening , however, if perhaps inevitable given the existence of Amazon, is his statement that shoppers' choice will be restricted by slimming down stock in stores and even removing whole subject areas. And even less heartening is his enthusiasm for the Starbucksisation of his shops. Remember when bookshops were about selling books?

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