By Mukta Naik
When you have grown up with everyone around you moaning about how the habit of reading is dying, it’s more than heartening to hear John Makinson, chairman of Penguin Random House assure you that people are still reading across the world. Yes, the shift from the physical book to digital is slowly happening and that may, as John pointed out, mean that publishers have to change their tactics. But it’s a slow shift and the physical book is still here for a while. The world as we know it is not really going to change overnight.
But there were two bits of information from John’s comments at Think2013 that really put a smile on my face. One was the acknowledged comeback of the indie bookstore in many parts of the world. Their reinvention as culture hubs where loyal buyers can browse, take recommendations for what they can read next and interact with other book lovers. It fed a long time dream of mine to own a similar space â a zone of comfort where people can read, talk and debate. The other tidbit was about the Penguin readership in India. Apparently, Indians like reading books that unravel complicated situations. They like serious non-fiction and that’s the category that drives sales in this country. I would not have imagined this, judging from the books I see most people read on the Delhi Metro for instance!
All in all, the session inspires me to read, and then read some more. To explore the world of digital information even as I visit my favourite bookstore occasionally.Â To chat about the latest releases and pick up a real book that I can feel and smell and curl up with.