Thoughts on books, publicity, and the media from our Cave Henricks staff.

The Way We’re Reading

The recent demise of Borders, the record Christmas sales of ereaders, and the introduction of iPad 2, have morphed the way we all read.  From preschoolers some of whom call Apple’s ereader a “mypad” to corporate executives, the way we consume information has changed forever.

Below is an informal sample from our circle of friends, avid readers all.

“I never would have expected this just a couple of years ago, but I do almost all my book reading electronically now. I use the Kindle apps on my iPad and iPod Touch. I love the versatility of the ices, that I can read while standing on line at the drugstore, or in bed without bothering my wife, and the fact that I can travel with a library effortlessly, instead of lugging around the piles of books I used to haul everywhere. I also listen to recorded books, but only when I run on a treadmill. That means I take a while to get through one, but I love being read aloud to and ingesting a book at such a luxuriously slow pace. On the other hand, I still get the New York Times on paper and pore through it page by inky page every morning”

-Fred Allen, Leadership Editor, Forbes

“I’ll confess to having entered the digital age with reluctance.  I like the smell of old books, writing comments desecrating bound volumes, washing my hands after required reading the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.  My granddaughter did it.  ‘Pops, here is your i-Phone.  You’ll love it.  It’s programmed and ready to go.  Pops, you can do it!’  And so I did begin.  In some six months I discarded the training wheels.  Then came the i-Pad.  And now my Kindle App gets me my pal Ted Bell’s adventures of his hero Hawke and my newspaper dealer in Florida keeps calling to ask when he should start up delivering my usual four dailies.  Next time he calls, I’ll suggest he goes in the orange growing business.  Finally, I’m getting to be an almost cool guy to my 3 beautiful granddaughters.”

–Peter Georgescu, Chairman Emeritus, Young & Rubicam

“Ereaders are great and do many things well but for me they have not replaced physical media.  They are great for novels but I find them less satisfactory for serious reading where I am constantly referring back to something I read a few pages before.  I still like the big high resolution screen that comes with my New York Times and Wall Street Journal along with the walk with the dog to pick up the paper.  I seem to find more interesting things to read in depth in the physical news media and struggle to find those pieces in the electronic formats. But I must admit the new Wall Street Journal service on the iPad is almost as good as the physical paper for my purposes.

“My friends who read the news on eReaders tell me that they tend to mostly read the headlines and a few of the stories.  They are in love with their eReaders.  I tend to read more of the stories and fewer of the headlines.  As long as there are enough people with different needs there will be markets for both physical and virtual media.”

-Bill Davidow, author, Overconnected: The Promise and the Threat of the Internet; The Virtual Corporation

“I bought my Kindle two years ago when the ices were relatively new (though I waited for the second generation as I never buy the first generation!)  I currently have more than 300 books in my digital library and many more samples for future consideration.  So I clearly consume in the digital format–novels are only going to be digital for me!  But paper books haven’t lost their appeal, they have just taken a new place in my library.  I still buy cookbooks in paper, typically at a Costco.  I also buy some gift books online (mostly from Amazon).’

-Anna Grassini, Executive Coach

”Unless, I am buying books as gifts, I have transformed almost exclusively to a digital book buyer. I own both a Kindle and an iPad.  My Kindle holds about 40 manuscripts and 30 odd novels.  I review manuscripts electronically first and print a paper copy when we have signed a project.  My leisure reading is done almost exclusive on the latest version Kindle.  It is indispensible for travel and makes the often poorly stocked airport bookstores less of an issue.   I read magazines on the iPad, but so far, the screen glare keeps me from making it my reader of choice.  I am hopelessly addicted, however, to the Words with Friends app which allows you play virtual scrabble.”

-Barbara Henricks, President, Cave Henricks Communications.