Again, the Wall Street Journal is first to report yet another slice closer towards the death of a thousand paper cuts of traditionally printed bound books. Dorchester, a venerable publisher since 1971 of mass market paperbacks -- those "pocket books" made of the least expensive paper with the narrowest margins possible in order to be able to sell them at the current pricing of $7.99 (83% of Dorchester's books are at this price point, still lower than a pre-iPad-era download), is abandoning this model and "going digital."
However, they will still be printing, through wholesaler Ingram Book Company's Lightening Print-on-Demand service -- which Books on First uses, which is a wonderful happy bridge between printing tens of thousand of paper copies to printing none at all. A printed bound book is only made when ordered. I wrote about this oh, so long ago.
What I always find interesting to read are the online comments to such articles. I find it gratifying that a couple of them (out of only 5 total thus far at the time of this writing) still express a desire to have printed bound books, whether to share with friends and family or for "curling up" and reading a "'real' book" after a long day of staring at a computer screen. Amen.
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