I am obviously getting out of touch because there are phenomenon going on that pass me by. I suspect that is because I seldom go into bookshops much these days (sorry blame Amazon!) and I know longer listen to the likes of BBC Radio 4 on the way to work, now adays my car radio is tuned permanently to BBC Radio 3 (classical music).
I was in Tesco's the other day and saw some paperbacks by some writer called E L James one of which was called 50 Shades of Grey. There seemed to be a trilogy and they were at the top of the paperback chart. I ignored it and carried on shopping.
Then on Facebook the other day lots of women went on about "Christian". Now you know how it is you think "What?". Eventually I found out he was a character from the 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy which was originally fan fiction based on the Twilight books and it was "Mummy Porn".
Now I'm not sure what "Mummy Porn" is but I was intrigued by an article on the bbc website .
The author of that article says that a year ago commentators and publishers thought that e-book sales would take 10 years to account for 50% of sales but it seems that for 50 Shades of Grey it is already selling 40-50% of sales are digital. The fear is that this (along with online stores like Amazon) will destroy the highstreet bookstore.
When I was in Hay-on-Wye recently there were signs saying no Kindles and there was a campaign to ban the Kindle from Hay. Of course the latter is impossible and given who had the Kindle signs up I had to chuckle.
Many of the anti e-book lobby state that there is something special about the tacttile quality of a book. I do agree with that to a degree but for a standard paperback fiction? No I'm not convinced.
For the likes of guidebooks where you are constantly flipping all over the place I much prefer a book this may change and to be honest in years to come I suspect many books will be published electronically only, with physical books retaining a niche market.
I don't know that it will be the small independents that will struggle. I think they maybe they can offer a niche service, to me it's the chains that will really suffer.
And for those who object to the Kindle I've lost count of the number times when the exact book in a series I want is not in a bookshop. With the Kindle I log on and (assuming it's available as an e-book) and within seconds I'm reading.
If you go on holiday a kindle (other e-book readers are avaialble) means you have a lightweight way of transporting loads of books.
Curiously though when I go to Italy at the end of July my Kindle won't be going. I will be reading a Traveller in Italy by HV Morton in paperback. The book was written in 1964 and isn't available on the Kindle.