Found myself in the pub last night with various writery types discussing the rise of e-books and our fears for the diminishment of traditional publishing. The subject came up because one of our number has decided to open up an independent book shop and another is to run it for him, and they were tossing around the rather progressive idea of selling e-books on site as well as traditional stock. Smart thinking, but we all agreed that the traditional stock was paramount, and not the chain/supermarket bestseller stuff either. They want to sell good books, unusual books, well-made and lovely books. The kind of books that demand that you pick them up. The kind of books you get from independent publishers like Eibonvale Press.
For, in fact, the reason we were in the pub in the first place was on account of having attended the launch of two new books from Eibonvale: “Once And Future Cities” by Allen Ashely and “Ultrameta” by Douglas Thompson. Both authors – Allen, who’d travelled from London and Douglas, a Glasgow native – read intriguing and entertaining excerpts from their books, and were good for a chat afterwards (and Allen’s story may now be among my favourites from this year), and the books themselves are lovely artefacts too, with covers and interiors beautifully designed by enthusiastic Eibonvale supremo, David Rix.
Electronic books may be an inevitability, but it’s a real pleasure to see new independent presses producing books by great writers, and putting so much love into the physicality of the book as an artefact.