Yesterday I had tweeted about iBooks for the iPad being updated with categorization and I was happy the 300 some books on my iPad could get some organization. A reply on Facebook mentioned a Catholic store owner recommended the person not get an eReader.
Supporting Catholic book stores is a real good thing on multiple levels. People behind these stores didn’t start them to get rich and many of them struggle along. My favorite Catholic book store in my city closed down which I lamented. There selection of books was excellent with solid orthodox content. So I can sympathize with store owners concerned that eBooks will have an impact on their business. Patrick Madrid when referencing a book always encourages people to get them from their local Catholic book stores and I would mostly concur.
There will always be people who prefer regular books and a good Catholic book store can help their customers by answering questions and helping them find good books to inform their faith. Certainly though eBooks will have more of an impact as they become more accepted. I would though encourage these stores to do what they can to embrace eBooks. Ignatius Press, St. Benedict Press, Tan and other publishers have embraced eBooks and Catholic stores like Aquinas & More are selling them. For my part when I buy a Catholic eBook I look to buy them from the publisher or a Catholic book store. Amazon will sell them cheaper, but the difference in price is only a couple of bucks and I want to support them. Plus the Catholic sources sell the books without Digital Rights Management so that you will be able to read the book on any device of your choosing now and into the future.
Local Catholic stores need to get involved in eBooks. There are certainly problems in making this happen. Running an e-Commerce web site certainly adds cost to a local Catholic book store. Many Catholic publishers have not yet made their catalogs available as eBooks and much has to be done in regards with Catholic publishers working with Catholic book stores in making the books available to them for sale. Maybe they could even be sold in store on CDs where the store downloads the book from a publisher site for the customer. Regardless Catholic book stores need to embrace eBooks as much as they can because they are not going away and I don’t want local Catholic book stores to be going away. Complaining about eBooks and eBook Readers will just put you in the Buggy Whip camp.
I love real books, but have come to prefer eBooks since they are much more convenient for me. I have instant access to many of my books wherever I go and searching for something becomes super easy. Marking up books with notes and highlights becomes more useful since your notes become simple to find and access. When it comes to Catholic books re-reading is common and I don’t have to look through stacks or boxes to find the book to read once again. A couple of months ago I had a stack of books fall on my and slightly injure my hand. I guess if I dropped my iPad on my foot it would hurt – but not as much as that stack of books. For book hoarders such as myself – eBooks are a good thing. It’s not a real book vs. eBook thing anyway. I say both/and it’s all good.