What about eBooks ?
While we understand that some readers might wish to read our titles on handheld electronic devices, A.B.C. Editions has several reasons for favouring hard-copy, printed books over so-called ‘e’ books.
First, there are the aesthetic considerations. For many of our titles, our typesetting and occasionally complicated page layouts cannot be reliably replicated in eBooks. We feel that our attention to detail in these matters contributes to the quality of our readers’ experience, and we are loath to yield to the eBook’s siren song and relinquish our concerns.
Second, while we have necessarily bowed to necessity and made our pact with the retail world’s dominating forces-that-be (for ease of online reference and hard-copy printing), we are nevertheless firm supporters of bookstores and booksellers, especially those hardy souls who maintain their independence and offer their local communities brick & mortar venues where people can gather and browse and interact. In our current consumer configuration, people all too easily lose sight of what goes into weaving a community’s social fabric and insuring it thrives. Real bookstores do all that and more... while eBooks seem to draw us away.
Third, eBook devices are all destined to fail in a matter of years. Earlier models become obsolete, or lose their allure when a newer model hits the market. Their manufacture calls for materials that come at a significant cost to the environment, and their recycling is both complicated and hazardous.
People who sing the praises of eBooks apparently overlook that without exception, all high-tech ‘solutions’ come with far-reaching repercussions and unwieldy downsides. Let us learn this and take heed: only simple, low-tech approaches to answering our needs can hope to keep the overall costs to the environment in check. Wise engineers always favour simplicity; the more complex a solution to any need or problem, the more collateral damage it does and the sooner it will fail.
Which is why we sing the praises of books. Books do not become obsolete. Books can last many decades, even centuries. When their paper is sourced from recycling channels or properly managed forests, when they are produced by companies that engage in responsible waste management, and when they are printed near to their retail markets, books can offer their benefits with a lower environmental cost overall, compared to eBooks.
Moreover, prior to being eventually recycled, in their lifetime books can be easily loaned, passed on, given to charity... or find their way to a used-book store.
Which brings us to our Fourth reason for thinking twice or thrice before jumping on the eBook bandwagon: you will never find an eBook on the shelf in a used-book store.
There are few pleasures to compare with the serendipitous delight of scanning the shelves in a bookshop, be it used or new, and coming face to face with a book you’ve never seen nor heard of before, but which catches your eye and draws you in.
A book can change your life. A book is a friend you haven’t yet met. A book is waiting for you in a bookshop, new or used, somewhere.
A real book is a wonderful thing to find and to hold in your hands.
Would you like to see some of our real books ?