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Open Thread: Would You Turn Back the Clock?

Jeff O'Neal

CEO and co-founder

Jeff O'Neal is the executive editor of Book Riot and Panels. He also co-hosts The Book Riot Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @thejeffoneal.

News came this week that Stephen King’s next novel, Joyland, will initially only be available as a print edition. King said that the decision is a throwback: “I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being.”

King is one of a handful of writers who could (and would) do something like this, and it’s certainly not the start of some kind of trend.

Still, it got me thinking: if I could somehow magically make ebooks disappear…would I? I think maybe a year or two ago I would have said yes, but not so anymore. I’ve become used to reading ebooks, and while I do miss the book as object, the convenience of ebooks is hard to dismiss. Ultimately, I think digital technology will be a good thing for text-based storytelling (notice how I am avoiding saying “publishing”)–enough so that I am willing to deal with the damage that is being done to print.

What about you? Would you go back to the way things were?