World Book Day: Relevance of books in this digital era

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Demonetisation, Digital India and Swachh Bharat schemes of Modi Govt make entry into NCERT textbooks
Representational Image.

Jasnoor Kaur, The Hush Post: As the people across the globe celebrate the World Book Day on April 23, we at The Hush Post tried to find out whether the words printed on papers still hold the significance in this digital era.

We spoke to a cross section of people who are in the field of writing books, printing and in digital field. The discussion revealed that digital or social media does slaughter books to an extent, but it also shoots up the sale of books.

In the modern world where all the information is a click away, there are many people who still love to use the conventional method of reading. It’s a different and unique feeling of holding a book in our hands than from reading it from “kindles” and online ebooks?

World Book Day: Relevance of books in this digital era
The World Book Day is celebrated on April 23 across the globe.

We found out that people in today’s time do read printed books, but the audience has become smart and doesn’t read a book without reading its review before going to buy it.

“I, as a reader, make it a point to look at the reviews before reading it,” says blogger-poet-reader Aadishree Dixit of Pune. About the whereabouts of the place where she looks for book reviews she says, “I follow book tube for the book reviews where thousands of book reviews are posted every day.”

The time has come where social media has led people to follow book trends as they have been following the style trends. In spite of social media being a judge of all the books, Dixit believes that it helps more in increasing the sale of books than decreasing it.

Gautam Gayan, who has worked for five years in the field of content development and social media marketing/promotion shares similar views of Aadishree Dixit. He says, “Social media has definitely dawned upon the sales of the books. It has now become easier to buy and sell books just with the click of mouse. It has increased the sale of books as it comes with discounts most of the times and it has also widened the horizon of market for the sale of books.”

Rajdeep Mujherjee, the managing director of Pan Macmillan India shares identical views which were reported by Hindustan Times: “It is helping publishers and readers reach out to specific interest groups… and discover content which would otherwise have been inaccessible traditionally.”

But when it comes to books, different people have diverse opinions. “I believe that social media works in both ways. It increases as well as decreases the sale of books. Like because of Chetan Bhagat’s social media activities, people get to know more about it and buy his printed books. On the other hand, because of the presence of ebooks and PDF of books online the printed books are going into the background,” says Jacob Yeldhos, a literature student, an avid reader and writer.

Yeldhos opines that social media kills as well as shoots up the sale of books. But then there is another section that believes that social media only decreases the sale of books.

“Social media is a platform for promoting books and to familiarize your audience with your work. We, writers constantly upload pieces of our writing which makes the readers satisfied with the little they get out of the social media handles. So, while social media does make one’s audience grow, it does little to one’s sales as only a handful people go to buy the book,” says author Vancouver Shullai, winner of Wingword Poetry Prize-2017, who hails from Shillong.

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