In some quarters, last fall's news that eBook sales declined in 2015 was welcome. Our misbegotten infatuation with pixels rather than print was finally over. Books are meant to be held in the hand, not read with a backlight on a soulless device.
I understand the lure and romance of print. I became a librarian after spending many hours in public libraries as a child, and then many more hours browsing the library stacks in college. The wonder of seeking just one book, and leaving with many others besides, never grows old.
But I also understand that new technologies do not serve as an existential threat to what we know and love. Television did not end movies, podcasts will not end public radio. And so eBooks and print books will coexist peacefully. The current dip in eBook sales does not indicate their imminent demise, but simply the growing pains that accompany any new product.
Now far removed from those days of browsing the stacks, I value both print and eBooks. With an e-reader I can look up an unfamiliar word in context, highlight key passages, take searchable notes, insert multiple bookmarks.
These are just two different dissemination methods, each with their own strengths.