I saw several posts this morning which linked to the adult colouring books story I had in the Morning Links a few days ago. I was amused to see this story go so viral, in part because I have been enjoying a revival in my art skills this year and have used some of these books.
But I also find it interesting when such stories make the news because I feel like a lot of the book rhetoric these days is about how print is over, eBooks for the win, and nobody will ever need paper. This, to me, is a perfect example of why it is not a zero-sum game—even the most avid eBook fan would need paper for this genre of book!
I have always maintained that some genres of book are just more suited to paper. The Steampunk Lego book I reviewed in February is one example. I have the PDF version too, and it just isn’t the same. Cookbooks, for me, are another one. I simply can’t follow the recipe if I can’t see the whole page at once, with the special recipe layout.
But a book like a colouring book, where the paper actually serves a functional purpose? Try and make THAT an eBook! Even if you have a PDF (and some websites, such as this one offer them) you still have to print it onto paper in order to do the colouring. On a similar note, I remember buying a book for my then-toddler stepson called ‘Let’s Cut Paper.’ It was designed to teach young children how to use scissors, and in the same way as a colouring book, the paper is a necessary part of the experience.
Maybe eBooks will ‘win’ for plain-text fiction. But some books just need to be in paper!