I found a solution. Since a young age I have always loved books, whether they were being read to me at night by my mother before I went to sleep, or when I proudly finished reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears by myself at the age of four.
Although I use a computer to write every day, I have never been a big fan of reading a book online, or on a laptop or smartphone. It just feels so much nicer to have something physical to hold, feel, read … and smell! Indeed, the smell of a new (or very old) book is satisfying in itself … the content within is the added bonus.
Since the dawn of the digital age the publishing industry has been going through challenging times. I looked at what has been happening in the print industry in the UK since Covi and discovered that the news is upbeat. Just as there has been a big surge in the sale of vinyl music albums so there has also been a boom in purchasing physical books – and the ‘bricks and mortar’ bookshops have been busy, full of customers browsing the shelves, and buying printed books. In 2020, over 200 million print books were sold, the highest number since 2012.
Many people turned to books for entertainment, with some doubling the amount of time they spent reading. The movie industry, Netflix, other streamed services and the TV have also helped. There are a lot of first-time readers who want to delve deeper into the movie they have just watched, or they want to read the book before they go to see the movie.
The pandemic has shown that reading is still an activity highly valued by millions of people, particularly in situations whereby increased leisure time has, and is, becoming the norm. While recent results have shown that the publishing industry is undoubtedly sustainable, it also has to be flexible and innovative.
Are we seeing similar developments in Thailand? Let’s look at independent publisher River Books, and seek the opinions of its owner Khun M.R. Narisa Chakrabongse.