Treasures on the Shelves: Don’t predict the demise of books just yet

Published 11:00 am Friday, September 1, 2023

Holly Howze

Recently I was reading a Kindle book on my phone when a message popped up: Thank you for reading on National Book Lover’s Day! I was pleased with the acknowledgement and it got me thinking about how books and reading are such a big part of my life and the role they’ve played in my personal enrichment.

Every year it seems there are dire predictions about the decline in publishing sales and fewer people reading yet there always seems to be a breakout author whose books sell like hot cakes (i.e. Colleen Hoover) or sales records smashed with a blockbuster title (Prince Harry’s “Spare”).

Book clubs have proliferated to the point that new titles are marketed directly to them and the advent of e-readers, which was supposed to spell doom for traditional hardcover book, has been embraced by avid and casual readers who are comfortable with both formats.

So I would say that reading is alive and well and even flourishing! I’ve loved books since I was a small child and I’ve often found that people who like to read books also like to read about books. Podcasts are an enjoyable way to learn about new titles or to listen to a discussion about a favorite author, plus they are free! Reading Glasses, What Should I Read Next, Reading Women and So, What Are You Reading? are some of the more popular podcasts that offer weekly or sometimes daily episodes. One of my favorites is Celebrity Book Club which offers reviews and discussions around celebrity memoirs and autobiographies, while my colleague J.B. likes The Book Review Podcast from the New York Times.

If you prefer a different presentation, library patrons can check out BookMarks, a bi-monthly magazine that collates new book releases into an easy to read format with concise summaries and read-alike recommendations. BookPage is another publication that highlights authors, genres and reviews. A monthly publication, it is available for individual subscriptions. And of course, there are always new book reviews in newspapers and magazines.

So get a head start on National Books Lover’s Day, and celebrate books and reading every day!

Holly Howze is the branch manager for the Ripberger Public Library located in Kenbridge. She can be reached at lcplsbooks@gmail.com.